Two South African tech startups recently announced their partnership to better the countryâ€™s transportation industry by furthering the idea of smart cities.Â GoMetroÂ andÂ MellowcabsÂ will be working together to drive collaboration, awareness and adoption of the two services in major urban areas of South Africa and beyond.
GoMetro provides South African commuters using the MetroRail train service with crucial information via their mobile phones. Through this new partnership, GoMetro will provide the eco-friendly taxi service Mellowcabs with a Driver App, running on tablets to be mounted in the cabs. This will track the location of the vehicle with the real-time data being sent to GoMetroâ€™s central servers.
As a data-driven startup, GoMetro will provide an analytics dashboard for every Mellowcab route and region, providing the broader transport system with rich datasets and the ability to drill down on demographic, time and spatial information. This data is also meant to prove invaluable to advertisers.
In turn, Mellowcabs will appear as a transport mode choice on the GoMetro app platforms in order to increase its potentialÂ ridership. Using geo-referenced information, people will be given personalised results and to better empower the customer experience, Mellowcab passengers will have a feedback channel via the app where they can lodge their complaints and compliments.
The one takes care of improving the hardware while the other sorts out the software.
CEO of MellowCabs, Neil du Preez, sees the importance of improving the information layer in a transport network: â€œThis partnership with the most innovative transport app in South Africa is going to go a long way in helping us accomplish our objectives for our users, namely â€” to be the most efficient and attractive form of first- and last-mile transport in Africa,â€ he says.
Founder of GoMetro, Justin Coetzee, is a registered civil engineer and will furthermore join the board of advisers for Mellowcabs to assist with transport regulations, municipal negotiations and traffic engineering issues related to the introduction of this disruptive transportation system in South Africaâ€™s cities.
â€œThis is a really good sign of South Africaâ€™s startup industry reaching the next level of maturity where startups are able to collaborate to build really exciting solutions together that they would not have been able to by themselves,â€ says Coetzee. He further notes that the idea for this partnership came from aVentureburn article, which listed GoMetro and MellowCabs as two startups looking to transform transportation in South Africa.
Both startups have been chosen as World Design Capital 2014 projects, highlighting the impact that design thinking and innovation is having on cities in emerging markets â€” and the simple yet effective solutions that Cape Town is fostering as World Design Capital 2014.