As PickMe celebrates its first year of operations, the Company as a responsible corporate citizen, hoping to open up their proprietary software to the public through public API for the developer community and also hoping to open their Geographic Information system (GIS) for
Developers and even their competitors can access the software, which will be in the open domain. The CEO of PickMe Zulfer Jiffry says, “The right word for it is Crowdsourcing. We like to get people out there to use our own GIS map and become a part of developing a map, which can locate any address in our country. So far there is no map in Sri Lanka that can identify every address and with the contribution of everyone, our system would become complete.”
When a Sri Lankan Company is involved in this kind of software development it is not only a national pride but it also becomes a national asset. Furthermore, when the proprietary tag is removed from that software, and it is made freely available, it can become an opportunity not only for developing taxi services but also as a tool to support local government administration.
“Our technology can help the government to better organise our cities and zones because if you take a particular region the smallest point defined by the government is the gramaniladhari division so we can help in the identifying of these locations in and around cities in the most micro manner” he says.
PickMe wants to make their Mobile app available to every citizen in the country. One of their goals is to ensure that even those who usually travel in their own vehicles will be comfortable enough to leave their cars at home and hail a cab, which would go towards reducing traffic congestion and emissions. The hassle of driving and looking for parking lots when attending meeting would also become a thing of the past with taxies becoming easier to hail, safer and much more affordable.
The CEO says that when PickMe began operations one year ago they had to take into account many things that were unique to Sri Lanka, “for example nowhere in the world are three wheelers included in a mobile app based taxi hailing service but we wanted to make our service available to the masses and decided to include them, which meant training the drivers thoroughly and to convince them that technology would help them to do their job better. Another problem was that we are an unregulated market and there was disparity in fares from one taxi to the other, therefore we had to organise the chaos that existed in the