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IIT Madras develops mobile app for efficient goods transportation

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) faculty members, students, and alumni have designed and developed a mobile application to enable easier and efficient transportation of goods within cities.

Called ‘OptRoute’, this mobile phone app connects a driver with the consumer and does not take any commission or on-boarding fee. The payment from the consumer goes directly to driver, with no intermediaries.

The first version of the app has been developed and commercialised through OptRoute Logistics, an IIT Madras-incubated start-up co-founded by NS Narayanaswamy, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras and Anuj Fulia, an IIT Madras alumnus, says a release.

The start-up has also developed packing and efficient vehicle space utilisation methods, which will be included in the application once sufficient initial traction is achieved.

Zero commission
Highlighting the problems this app sets out to eventually resolve, Narayanaswamy said it aims to solve the issues in connectivity between drivers and customers in the goods logistics and transport domain. The issues faced are unavailability of return load for transporters and vehicle capacity under-utilisation. Current market of this domain is highly unorganised making it inefficient. It is also ripe for deployment of technology-based solutions to reach the goals set by the National Logistics Policy, 2022, he said.

According to Fulia, OptRoute does not use any third-party services allowing the company to cut down the cost of operation to an absolute minimum and because of the same reason we are able to provide our service with zero percent commission. This design and development has had a significant contribution done by alumni and students of IIT Madras. By the end of this year, we will scale our service to be available in 500+ cities, he said.

The OptRoute application has two user modes – driver and customer. In the customer mode, users can place any goods transport request for which a vehicle is needed. In the driver mode, users can view the available requests and accept them.

The key points of differences between OptRoute and existing services include zero-commission per transaction and nominal subscription based service model; direct payment from consumer to driver; high scalability of the software system and operations and single app for both drivers and customer.

The app is currently available for operational in multiple cities including Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Delhi, Faridabad, Gurugram and Hyderabad, the release said. The Hindu BusinessLine

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