If you’ve been seeing a lot of inDriver advertisements across social media like me, and wondering what exactly it is, you can rest easy, because the international online ride-hailing service headquartered in New York, is introducing cost determination for fare on taxi rides in Nairobi.
Used by 24-million people across more than 200 cities, inDriver was started back in 2012 in a remote town in Eastern Siberia, in Russia. It is now available to residents of Nairobi. With inDriver, users can independently set the price for their trip, while drivers can choose the most profitable and convenient orders.
How does inDriver Work?
The app’s Real Time Deals model combats algorithms used by other ride-hailing companies, which rack up prices because of peak hours, traffic and request history. inDriver allows passengers to set their own fare for their chosen route. Nearby drivers who receive notice of ride requests have three choices – accept the fare offered, ignore the offer or bargain for a higher price.
The inDriver service is already operating in South Africa and neighbouring Tanzania. Representatives of the app claim that they have already connected more than 5,000 drivers in Nairobi, with dozens of new drivers being registered daily. In an effort to attract more drivers to sign up with them, inDriver is not charging drivers any commission.
A unique feature of inDriver is that drivers are not automatically assigned to riders. Once the counteroffers are in, passengers select the most suitable driver in line with what categories are most important to them – fare, driver rating, estimated time of arrival or vehicle model.
Taxi-hailing apps Bolt (formerly Taxify), Uber and Little Cab have for the past two years been the dominant players locally, in an industry that is increasingly relying on technology to appeal to consumers. The conveninence of GPS-reliant tech, coupled with lower pricing, have enhanced the convenience and affordability with which Kenyans can move around their cities and towns. Nakuru town, soon to become the country’s fourth city, boasts its own technology-driven Wasili Cabs in and around its environs.
As mobility issues take root, evidenced by conferences such as the Urban Mobility Summit which was held June 10th 2019, government and private sector leaders and organisations are looking at ways of better transport solutions for Kenyans. In addition to an impending introduction of the Bus Rapid Transport system on major highways, bus-hailing, and sharing platforms such as SWVL, Little Bus and BuuPass, are taking Nairobians, and Kenyans, not where, but how they’ve never been before – planning their trips in advance from the conveninence of their mobile phones.