Getting a cab in Kenya is one thing, but being driven by a trustworthy driver is another issue. Most Kenyans always find it hard to get a driver with high ethical standards. However, Maramoja will probably change everything.
The onset of Uber brought hope to cab riders because they thought it will encourage professionalism in the industry. The hailing company has received a backlash from policy makers and some drivers are killing the company’s name.
The Maramoja App is a solution to security challenges faced by other hailing apps like Uber and Easy Taxi. The application uses artificial intelligence to assign the driver a trust score, arrived at from a rider’s phonebook contacts and social media friends.
This is enabled by a graph data base with variances on the most preferred driver by evaluating who among a user’s friends picked the driver among other factors. It uses a Global Positioning System and Wi-Fi to set a customer’s pick up location. Available vehicle options pop up and on tapping on the icons, rates for the option selected appears.
Just like other hailing services, the price for Maramoja is a minimum of Ksh 300. “No arguing, no haggling, no exceptions. Pay the same every time, day or night, rain or shine. Prices are based only on your origin and destination so you and your driver’s interests are the same – to get you there quickly and safely.” The company wrote.
One thing that is missing in Easy Taxi, Pewin and Uber is the sense of belonging. Maramoja caters for both drivers and passengers. Sources say that the company is currently negotiating fuel prices with Total Petrol stations and they will also facilitate them to buy cars. The drivers will be paid on commission depending on the number of referrals made by clients. This will be alongside the salary they make in a given month.
Jason Eisen, the CEO of Maramoja wishes to scale up ethical practices among drivers to increase referrals. “Every time I came, we had every manner of transport problems you could imagine, including drunk drivers and others keen on ripping foreigners,” he said.