Can drivers’ behaviors change due to a mobile App?

What is Safemotos?

Safemotos is a safer Uber for African motorcycle taxis that was created by Barret Nash (Co-founder and CEO) and Peter Kariuki (Co-founder) to connect customers to the safest drivers. Barret started his entrepreneurship journey in Rwanda in 2010 while he was working with the Rwandan Government's one laptop per child program and later met Kariuki who has a great expertise in East African transportation systems, and started Safemotos. The testing phase started in Mid-March 2015 and was launched in June 2015.

How does it work?         

To use Safemotos you need to have a smart phone.  Once you install and login to the app you find a user-friendly interface that gives you different options as a customer or as driver. As a customer you need to put your geographical location and the App shows you the nearest motorcycle, then you can send a request to a moto, on the other side the motorcyclist gets a notification of the request and the exact client's geographical location and immediately starts moving to pick up the client. Once arrived the customer receives a notification that the motorcycle has arrived.


Rating drivers to ensure safety of customers

Safemotos moto drivers are equipped with different sensors such as accelerometer, GPS and gyroscope and uses these telematic data from driver's smartphones to follow how they drive, this allows the app to know their acceleration, deceleration then from this information the App can tell whether the driver behaves well or badly, and the information is accessible to the customer. Hence, customers can be recommended to the safest drivers.

Reducing road traffic accidents fatalities

According to the African Development Bank report on road traffic fatalities, the most  economically active people (aged 15–59) are at the greatest risk of dying as a result of road accidents. For this age group, road traffic accidents affect more than three times as many males as females. Overall, 5% of deaths among males aged 15-59 are attributable to road traffic accidents, but this percentage rises to 6.5% for males in the 15-29 age group in Sub Saharan Africa. This leads to 612 Africans dying every day from road accidents in general.

In Rwanda, the Rwanda National Police claims that motorcycles are responsible for 80% of road accidents, Rwanda counts around 20,000 motorcycles in the whole country. Motorcycles are used by a large number of people especially when rushing, sometimes it puts the moto driver under pressure to satisfy the client and make more money, but with no guarantees to reach the destination when driving unsafely.

There is a common motorcycle drivers’ habit in Rwanda to move everywhere looking for customers randomly even if he/she is not sure of finding a customer in that area, this keeps increasing the amount of fuel gases emitted for nothing to pollute the environment. A great solution with Safemotos is that a driver moves only to specific places and avoids drive in a bad, more inefficient, way to not have a bad rating on the system. This will ensure at least the safety and reduce a certain rate of accidents on roads.

So far Safemotos has celebrated 2,000 safe trips in the last month with 25 motorcycle drivers, and launched another version for booking cabs, which has now 8 cab drivers. The Safemotos team has managed to raise USD $131,000 to ensure a sustainable expansion into other African countries.