App-based two-wheeler rental startup Bounce has patented a keyless technology, which allows Bounce users to pick up or drop the bike anywhere in the city, at any time. Nishchay AG, Director, Bounce spoke to Mint on this unique keyless technology and how the company is using technology and data science to transform urban mobility. Edited excerpts:
How does keyless technology work?
Bounce’s biggest tech differentiator is its patented ‘keyless technology,’ a feature that is changing the way India commutes. This keyless feature enables our bikes to be dockless, which means customers can pick up and drop off anywhere, anytime. We have developed a smart keyless solution which comprises of a vehicle tracking system (VTS) that is connected to the Bounce server, that streams data of the location and other details of the vehicle and electromechanical locking systems. When a user opens the app he can see the nearest scooter and book it, after which the user will get an OTP. After the OTP is entered into the keypad, the VTS will verify to unlock the scooter. The user can now ride the scooter to his destination and also pause when he wants to take a break. Once the user is done with his ride he can end the trip via end trip option on the bike, after which the bike is locked and will become available for the next user. The user will be charged for the time and distance he used. Thus, our keyless technology allows users to access the bike with just an OTP, doing away with any physical or human intervention. We also use GPS tagging and geo-fencing features to remotely immobilize vehicles, when required.
How do you use GPS tagging and geo fencing features?
We have designed and developed state of the art telematics and sensor systems to continuously monitor the fleet remotely. The sensors will feed the data to the telematics unit which then streams the data back to our servers and we do all the magic in the backend. The telematics also has safety features to sense any attempt to move the vehicle when not in use by any customers and raise an alert to the operations team. It continuously measures fuel, battery levels and also raises an alarm through buzzers to attract attention when the bike senses any threat. The telematics and servers also help to map the supply to demand via various distribution techniques like dynamic pricing, redistribution to demand centre and also generate more demand in the location of supply through digital outreach programs.
According to the company, technology is at the core of Bounce operations. Can you explain how?
Technology is at the core of our operations that means our fleet management, maintenance, logistics, distribution, inventory management and on-field operation processes are completely automated through technology. The fleet is connected to servers via internet of things (IoT) and the stream of data is utilized to drive operations. This ensures consistency in various parameters of the bike such as re-fuelling, battery swaps and timely maintenance. Based on the kilometres driven the system analyses when the vehicle needs to be pulled out of circulation to ensure servicing is done before it is reintroduced. At Bounce, we want to ensure that we provide the best service to our consumers using technology.
How is data science being used?
Data science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are continuously driving our business through optimization at every level. By using past trends and current demands, we are able to build a fluid and hassle-free commute system in the country. We use both AI and Machine Learning (ML) to drive the entire customer journey starting from on-boarding of a new user to complete the KYC process, to validating Driving License and ensuring that supply meets the demand. Data science is also used for customer service, dynamic pricing and to run operations. We have developed various sensors to measure particular parameters of the vehicle. Data science helps us to crunch data from these sensors and helps us evolve the hardware design, improve fleet uptime and performance of the vehicle.