The on-demand taxi startup market at present is crowded and this scenario was not present some five years back. Taxi hailing startup in itself is a result of serious innovations in the operation of the conventional taxi industry.
To be frank, the taxi startups are not transportation companies but, technology firms. Yes, their important investment is the taxi booking app and hence it is a technology firm. A single mobile app disrupted a million dollar industry. So, imagine the magnitude of innovation that has gone into making the mobile app. It all started with the taxi major Uber.
How technologies are affecting the taxi startup market?
Even after all this innovative taxi hailing apps and other stuff, fast changing technologies and stiff competition are hurting many taxi startups, especially small and medium firms.
Technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, IoT, and many more are changing the face of taxi booking and firms that incorporate these techs are eating on other’s market share. In other words, those who are not in line with tech advancements are affected in a negative way.
The only way to sustain this and grow is to quickly adapt to the changing market conditions. Here I have presented some five things to do to incorporate new tech advancements to your taxi startup.
Points to follow to adapt to changing technologies
A lot of new techs and upgradations are present but not all of them will be relevant to your taxi booking startup. So, it is imperative to understand the technology. You can do this by knowing the various applications of the latest tech advancement and finding which application is close to your startup function.
Another way to understand any technology is to think about the magnitude of change it can make. For example, with blockchain, it is possible to do background checks of drivers automatically with utmost efficiency. This can make a huge difference in taxi operation like increased credibility and safety.
In the same way, IoT may be a relatively advanced tech but it has very limited scope in taxi startup. This way you can find the apt tech by first understanding each of them.
Thinking ahead of time
Top taxi startups are quicker than anyone else in terms of incorporating the latest techs and adapting to changing environments not only because they have good funding but also because they think ahead of time. Anticipating the need/problem and working on it is necessary for startups. While working on it you may come across any relevant technology anytime in the future. This way of thinking ahead of time is an important skill for startups.
You should also look out for improving the existing features in the app or taxi function using any upcoming tech. For example, increasing the accuracy of estimated travel time using machine learning.
Test sooner and often
Successive technologies should only make the business functions efficiently and the contrary should not happen. You may roll out any new relevant technology in your taxi startup but it is not necessary for it to add value and it may sometimes have major flaws and inefficiencies.
To do away with all these uncertainties, make the updated version to go for beta testing. The sooner you do it, the faster you can refine it. Do the beta testing several months ahead of going live. Incessant testing also has some positive effect on the outcome. Follow this process to any new technologies you want to use.
Implement, measure, and optimize
After testing, it is time to go live. Testing at a specific condition is different from live working. So, there are chances of the updated function facing some issues. This can be identified by measuring the impact from the riders, drivers, customer retention, rate of customer acquisition, ROI, and other related variables.
If you sense any deviation in the incorporated function from its intended function, go back and carry out the necessary changes. This iteration must be followed until everything is perfect.
Mostly, applications like a heat map, route optimization, arrival time, etc that use Artificial intelligence require this measuring and optimization to remove errors.
This point is not in line with the technical aspect. Adapting to new and changing technologies comes with a cost. The cost of training the workers, educating the cab drivers, and help riders to use the updated functions requires financial backing. This, you can plan well ahead of time or allocate the finance every year only for this.
Doing this will help you to make the transition to new technology effortlessly without affecting the day-to-day operations.
How to embrace this change seamlessly?
A very good financial planning itself guarantees a seamless shift. But, you can also follow some steps that apply to all small and medium taxi startups.
First is to take a small action. You can’t make an overnight change to your startup and that is also not practical. So, it is completely okay to take small steps just for the sake of a smooth transition to new change.
The second point is familiar with entrepreneurs and startup founders - failing. Not all technology adoption will end successfully. If this happens, come out and move with another.
Enough has been said about the ways to make a smooth shift to the changing tech environment and following these points without any compromise is a must. Also, you should keep in mind that innovation does not stop for internet startups like on-demand taxi booking and you should evolve along with the changing technology.
Always remember that change is constant and it is for the better.