Lithuanian start-up may ease India’s traffic

Unlike developed countries, the challenge in India is the availability of traffic data

April 14, 2016 02:58 am | Updated 02:58 am IST - BENGALURU:

Lithuanian start-up TRAFI, which offers a public transport app to help people plan their journey, is entering the Indian market.

The firm said it aims to ease India’s traffic woes by using real time data, scientific algorithms and machine learning, which gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed.

It has already launched the app in Mumbai and Bengaluru.

“All over India, improving public transport is a hot topic.It is central to the smart cities agenda of the government,” according to a statement from Martynas Gudonavicius, Co-founder and Chief Executive, TRAFI.

He said TRAFI will spend over $1 million (Rs 6.6 crore) this year to deliver better information about public transport in all major cities of India.

A former head of sales at mobile advertising network, InMobi, Mr. Gudonavicius founded TRAFI in 2013 along with Vilnius University alumni Jurgis Pasukonis, Mantas Vizbaras and Algimantas Krasauskas. The firm combines algorithms, real time processing of traffic situations and crowd-sourced reports.

This allows the firm to predict journey duration and arrival time more accurately.

TRAFI said it will also provide its technology products and services to transport companies and authorities in the country which would improve visibility of their fleet.

It will also increase the effectiveness of public transport. Rajarshi Rakesh Sahai, Country Head, TRAFI said that he met various officials, including those from Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, to showcase the innovation.

“We don’t follow a strategy of carpet bombing every country in the world,” said Mr.Sahai who, in his previous role, worked as a consultant on smart cities for Infosys.

“We are deep in our focus rather than doing launches for the heck of it. I want to do Mumbai and Bengaluru properly and then launch in other cities,” said Mr.Sahai.

He said unlike developed countries, the major challenge in India is the availability of the traffic data.

The start-up is developing tools specific for India which can help various agencies to form a common format for public transportation schedules and associated geographic information, Mr. Sahai said.

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