If you plan to move to Rwanda, it is only mandatory to learn how to drive a motorcycle. Millions of people depend on motorcycles to get around in the country, with most commuters depending on motorcycle taxis. However, most of these motorcycle taxis are considered dangerous to use because they are owned by reckless drivers.
To meet this challenge and to provide a safe alternative, two entrepreneurs created SafeMotos- an app that allows users to hail motorcycles taxis from their phones. The aim is to make the industry safer by applying vehicle software that tracks driver safety thus pushing reckless drivers out the system.
All the drivers are equipped with affordable Android smartphones and from the phones, SafeMotos pulls data from the accelerometer and GPS-data. From this information, they are able to keep track of the drivers’ habits and based on those trends, can automatically tell if a driver is one the safest or least safe drivers.
Users get picked up from a location of their choice and they can easily pay from their SafeMotos wallet which can be connected to mobile money, or credit cards. Price are determined according to the number of kilometres travelled.
“Customers using SafeMotos benefit by being connected to a driver who has been pre-tested. They no longer gamble when they get on that motorcycle and there is no risk that this could be the rider’s first day on the job, for instance. The drivers working with SafeMotos earn more because we charge a premium price to traditional riders. We also give our drivers better helmets, jackets and smartphones on top of training. And they also get the capacity to access far more customers, especially during off-peak hours,” explains SafeMotos co-founder, Barrett Nash.
This social start-up is improving commuters’ lives in Rwanda, exactly the kind of innovation the country needs to encourage road safety.