What’s next for employee transportation?

What’s next for employee transportation?

While transportation for an individual in any major city today has completely changed from what it was 5 years ago, and ridesharing has become a way of life, employee transportation in most places still relies on signatures on pieces of paper and manually created routes with no measure of whether that’s the best path to take.

Oftentimes, in large-scale operations, it is even difficult to know for sure if a trip was actually run or not, whether employees are actually using the company provided service or is it going to waste.

Lack of organization and transparency usually means that industry is ripe for disruption through technology.

As ride-sharing continues its move towards becoming the de-facto mode of transportation in dense urban centers and cars evolve to be “computers on wheels”, there will be multiple avenues where technology will bring in transparency, efficiency, and reliability.

Here are some things that are uniquely enabled by technology to make employee transportation safer, more comfortable and efficient:

Safer

Limited mobility remains a crippling constraint to increased participation of women in the workforce in India.

The lack of safe commute options can severely restrict the participation of women in the workplace.

According to the Census (2011), women represent only 15% of people traveling to work, much below the not-so-great national average of 22%.

At Shuttl, women represent 40% of all our passengers, almost twice the national average.

This abysmal condition could be changed by improving the levels of safety for transportation. Thanks to the omnipresent GPS devices, companies can now track all vehicles and quickly know if something goes wrong. These days, any given vehicle not only has a GPS device but also a smartphone with the driver and the passenger.

These multiple redundancies significantly reduce the chances of a vehicle “disappearing” anytime during a journey.

Automated routing ensures that no female employee is alone in a cab while also minimizing the travel time for employees and the cost for companies.

Boarding/de-boarding tracking ensures that the admin staff is always aware of a female employee’s whereabouts and can quickly act in case something seems off.

Safety features like
SOS button, Share Ride Details & Home-check enable Shuttlrs to keep calm on their daily commute.


Employees always have an option to raise an emergency alert available to them. In addition to a government-mandated physical panic button, the app being used by an employee for availing company transport could have an SOS button that can be used in case of an emergency.

Lastly, since all of this data is being recorded by the employer, this information can easily be shared with trusted family members, especially of the female employee, to help them with ease of mind while they are traveling to/from work. 

More efficient

Technology allows employee transportation to be more efficient in a way that would have been impossible with the old paper trail. There are basically two ways the cost of employee transportation can be reduced:

  •  By reducing the cost per seat

Routing algorithms available now reduce the cost per seat by reducing the number of kilometers that are run for the same number of employees.

Early application of machine learning helps to understand city specific routing peculiarities based on past routing data and continuously improving routes.

Moving people from cars to buses during the day is another shift that becomes easy through technology.

  • By reducing the number of empty seats. 

In the past, the idea of running a bus would seem like a big decision for any company because of the possible downside of seats running empty, which would take away all the efficiency gains achieved from running a larger vehicle.

The average occupancy in corporate transportation is 65%, whereas we run our entire fleet at an average occupancy of over 85%.

Combining employees across companies to ensure a higher occupancy would lead to an immediate 20% reduction in costs for transportation.

Multiple companies running their employee transportation on one platform would allow them to share vehicles to ensure that empty seats do not remain a major problem.

Companies would soon be able to reserve a few seats for their employees on a commuter bus running for the general public. Hence, drastically reducing their per employee cost of transportation by only paying for the seats that they use.

Greener

Since the primary source of cost in an employee transportation scenario is the cost of running a vehicle, any reductions in the cost would lead to a reduction in the carbon footprint of running the operation. And if you bring in electric vehicles into the mix, the green proposition becomes even larger.

A switch from regular cab to EV instantly leads to 50% reduction in CO2 emissions. The number can also go up to 90%.

Improved employee experience

Historically, any problems occurring during day-to-day operations have been resolved only after they have been reported by the driver or the employee.

GPS-based alerts allow us to provide more proactive alerts before an issue arises so that someone can take action on them before something goes wrong.

As every moving vehicle continues evolving towards a ‘computer on wheels’ future, technology will continue to play an increasingly greater role in dictating how employee transportation can be made more comfortable for employees while solving for greater efficiency.

For example, ETAs of vehicles can help you know if a vehicle is going to be late for a particular shift and if it would be better to give a replacement.

Knowing your daily trends and the availability of buffer vehicles nearby, the transportation management platform could easily recommend a replacement vehicle for you.

Alerts like overspeeding, stopping for too long, route deviation, etc. could be directly shown to the driver on his app instead of someone in the admin having to always keep an eye on his location and call a driver to ensure compliance.

Shuttl is dedicated to helping clients get the best in technology and fleet quality.

Shuttl is dedicated to helping clients get the best in technology and fleet quality for an impeccable commute experience for employees and great value to the employers.

When in Aizawl, ​do not blow ​the ​horn!

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Stuck in traffic and getting subject to the constant blaring of horns? On the road amidst chaos and being greeted by all the noises? Honking is one of the biggest causes of noise pollution. Drivers honk while commuting to display their urgency, frustration, discontentment, and displeasure. Honking has become an extension of feelings on the road.

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It is embedded in the behaviour and road traffic culture of our country. Despite various campaigns being run to avoid it, the situation has not changed in most of the Indian cities. Noise pollution can cause headaches, hypertension and various other cardiovascular diseases. In India, where the traffic movement is slow and chaotic, stress and irritability can cause hostility and even road rage. These risks are more pronounced for the citizens of Delhi-NCR and Mumbai.

A 2017 World Economic Forum report states that Delhi is the 2nd noisiest city in the world. It is followed by Cairo and Mumbai, ranking 4th on the list.[i] A recent study by Mimi Hearing Technologies GmbH- digital hearing app founders- found that “the average city dweller has a hearing loss equivalent to 10-20 years older than their actual age. Citizens of Delhi have the most, with a hearing age of 20 years older.” [ii]

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But, Aizawl, the capital city of Mizoram, has become the first Indian city to adopt a ‘No Honking’ policy. This is an organic citizen initiative and hasn’t been legislated or implemented by the authorities. Despite this, there has been a huge and positive response by the citizens who are responding to this change enthusiastically.

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What can we learn from this?

Noise pollution caused by incessant honking can be tackled in two ways. First and the foremost is to bring a behavioural change in the society where people consciously take the decision to shift towards no honking, as we witness in Aizawl. People respect and follow the rules and maintain traffic discipline.

However, sometimes honking becomes the necessary evil as road traffic gets bad with the excessive number of vehicles on the roads. For instance, the data collected till May 2017 from Delhi’s transport department mentions that there are 10,567,712 registered vehicles in Delhi. The majority of these vehicles are two-wheelers – 6,648,730, followed by the registered cars which are 3,172,842 in number. [iii] These statistics raise concern over the number of vehicles on roads and the ensuing noise pollution caused by them. As a result, there is a need to bring a structural change in the urban transportation.

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Shared bus mobility is the most efficient and environment-friendly way to move millions of commuters through congested cities and consequently, control the noise levels on the roads. A 2012 study by IIT Madras states that the average occupancy in buses is 20 whereas the average occupancy in cars and two-wheelers is only 2.2 and 1.2 persons, respectively. The study further mentioned that the buses are the most popular means of transport that cater to 60% of Delhi’s total demand.[iv]

Shuttl ’s app-based smart bus service is dedicated to providing shared mobility solutions to commuters. Shuttl’s bus-based model encourages a shift away from private vehicle ownership to equitable, affordable, and accessible smart mobility solutions. It also showcases the role of the private sector in contributing to and transforming the way urban commuters travel.

That is why increasing the role of shared mobility through the contributions made by both the public and private sector have the potential to make Indian cities safer and noise-free.

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References

[i]https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/03/these-are-the-cities-with-the-worst-noise-pollution/

[ii]http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/files/file/Delhi%E2%80%99s%20ambient%20noise%20levels%20influenced%20by%20traffic%20flow.pdf

[iii]https://scroll.in/latest/839608/delhi-has-more-than-one-crore-registered-vehicles-data-reveals

[iv]http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31808&articlexml=Traffic-chaos-costs-Rs-60000cr-annually-05022017005017, http://www1.m.businessinsider.in/delhites-wasted-rs-60000-crorea-year-by-standing-in-traffic/articleshow/56981744.cms

 

A Celebration of Technology & Innovations

Creativity and love for problem-solving are the two key ingredients of the great ideas/products. We @ Shuttl have been solving a lot of Real-World problems related to daily commute and provide our customers, a world-class experience with the best use of these ingredients. The last time we had Hackathon @ Shuttl, we found some very cleverly thought products which went to production and helped us in many ways. Lots of techies and non-techies collaborated to make, break & hack things.

Machine Learning (ML) is an old concept which is finding its real meaning these days.

Living-up to the tradition, we thought of organizing Volume-2 of the Shuttl Hackathon as the team was pretty excited to implement some crazy ideas. A whole week was spent in forming teams and brainstorming for THE idea. We noticed that many things which we used to do a short while ago, are now automated. Machine Learning (ML) is an old concept which is finding its real meaning these days. Google recently demonstrated lots of new products and service using this SciFi-ish concept. As a result, this Hackathon was flooded with ideas using ML.

All minds were riding on musical waves but, fully-focused on their problem statements.

On “the” day, the enthusiasm was on the peak and all pumped-up minds started working on their ideas. Discussions and laptop keyboard sounds filled the air and one of the participants took up the responsibility as the in-house DJ! All minds were riding on musical waves but, fully-focused on their problem statements. Some folks were so enthusiastic that they not only worked on their own idea but also helped others.

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After a 24 hrs long marathon coding session, people rested with lot of awesomeness on the table. The freshness of the idea, proposed solution, and wholesome implementation were the measures for the best and it was damn difficult to say which idea was better. There were some amazing implementations around Machine Learning like Smart Mails Classifier (automatically classifies complain emails into relevant categories), Math Assistant For Dyscalculia (a learning platform for people having Math Learning Disabilities), Blind Sight (enables blind and visually impaired people to identify objects through their phone camera) etc. Shuttl Video was an implementation to enhance the in-bus experience of the user by providing some entertaining videos and also exploring the possibilities around a new form factor. Shuttl:Time provided the platform for networking with the co-passengers of the bus based on the shared interests and the proposed solution was not limited to buses. However, the center of attraction was Shuttl Keyboard developed for iOS app to show ETA or other important information while keyboard being used in other apps.

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Excitement and enthusiasm of all Shuttlrs show that the Shuttl Hackathon Vol-2 repeated its past success. The implementations were so complete that most of these ideas will become reality (will go to production) soon. Technology is giving us many opportunities and such Hackathons are brilliant platforms to leverage it.

-Nitish Bhardwaj

Team Shuttl

Shuttl Premier League ( SPL )

Shuttl Premier League ( SPL )

At Shuttl, we always balance work and play & this time we decided to launch our own cricketing league a-la IPL style! We have had sports days before, but we added days of meticulous planning & a gradual build up to this cricket-specific league called Shuttl Premier League (SPL). Player auctions were scheduled a week before the tournament, and captains were assigned. They were given a chance to choose their own team, subject to a budget cap of virtual money. Each player was worth a certain amount of that virtual money which was decided on the basis of the self-assessment of the players. A high energy auction followed, which involved a lot of cross-bidding and high-intensity, competitive negotiations, something that comes naturally to Shuttlrs.

The week that followed was full of excitement, with newly made teams using chai breaks to strategize. Since most of the cricket teams were across the various functional teams in Shuttl, a lot of new bonds were formed. Sledging was taken to a level that would put the Australian cricket team to shame 🙂

Continue reading “Shuttl Premier League ( SPL )”