from Shuttl smooths automated customer on-boarding and ticket authentication with Chirp
by Anasia D’mello
Founded in April 2015, Shuttl is a technology-enabled, seat-based bus mobility solution. It aims to solve unsustainable levels of pollution and congestion in India’s cities by shifting people away from cars and towards buses for their daily commuting needs.
The Shuttl app enables consumers to discover relevant route and stops, choose travel times, purchase monthly and quarterly passes, reserve a seat, navigate to a stop and track the bus for a seamless boarding experience.
With over one million rides served in the first year of operation in Delhi, Shuttl partnered with Chirp to deliver on the core promise of assured seating at scale. Shuttl currently serves over 75,000 rides each day across eight prominent cities in India and has facilitated 20 million rides so far.
Shuttl commits to providing guaranteed seating for every passenger, delivered as part of a seamless travel experience. Boarding only genuine customers therefore becomes mandatory, to not only ensure a guaranteed seat for every passenger, but to also fulfil regulatory requirements. However, Shuttl quickly found that requiring its driver to authenticate every customer manually was both time-consuming and prone to human error.
These challenges affected both parties involved – the drivers and passengers. Customer experience suffered if there were delays or errors in boarding, meanwhile the driver’s role was compromised if they had to complete the tedious process of manually authenticating every customer as they boarded. Not only did the business suffer indirectly from the bad customer and driver experiences, there were also further security and regulatory compliance concerns if the boarding process was not fool-proof and fraudulent users were able to embark on Shuttl services.
Shuttl realised that these issues could only be resolved with technology and began looking for an effective and scalable solution. The company tested several solutions, including near-field communication (NFC), GPS and Wi-Fi, but ultimately found that each posed significant shortcomings. For example, NFC would require all users to have an NFC-enabled handset, meanwhile GPS was too inaccurate for this purpose, and local hotspots were unreliable.
In order to eradicate these concerns and provide a fast customer journey, the company required a solution which both accounted for human error during boarding pass authentication and supported the wide array of devices that customers carry – for example, those that do not support NFC. Operating primarily across urban areas, Shuttl also needed a robust solution to mitigate against any noise and worked completely offline during a loss of 3G/4G coverage along the journey, which could prevent customers from being able to board in locations where connectivity is unreliable.
Chirp aims to simplify connectivity using sound. Its machine-to-machine communications software enables any device with a loudspeaker or microphone to exchange data via inaudible sound waves. Developed by unparalleled research and a world-class engineering team, Chirp enables the interconnection of millions of devices in a seamless, scalable, and cost-effective way to enhance end-user experience and add value to existing hardware.
Shuttl’s ambition was to fully automate the customer boarding and pass authentication process to enable passengers to board […]
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