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IIT Madras develops mobile app for inter-city goods logistics

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CHENNAI : The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) faculty, students and the alumni have developed a mobile application to enable easier and efficient transportation of goods within cities. The app is called ‘OptRoute. It is a phone application that connects the driver with the customer and does not take any commission or onboarding fee.

The first version of the App has been developed and commercialised through OptRoute Logistics, an IIT Madras-incubated start-up co-founded by Professor N S Narayanaswamy, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras and Mr Anuj Fulia, an IIT Madras alumnus.

Highlighting the problems this app sets out to eventually resolve, Prof Narayanaswamy, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras, said, OptRoute aims to solve the issues in connectivity between drivers and customers in the goods logistics and transport domain. The main issues faced are unavailability of return load for transporters and vehicle capacity under-utilization. Current market of this domain is highly unorganized making it inefficient. It is also ripe for deployment of technology based solutions to reach the goals set by the National Logistics Policy, 2022.”

The start-up has also developed packing and efficient vehicle space utilization methods, which will be included in the application once sufficient initial traction is achieved.

The OptRoute application has two user modes – Driver and Customer. In the Customer mode, users can place any goods transport request for which a vehicle is needed. In the Driver mode, users can view the available requests and accept them.

The key points of differences between OptRoute and existing services include:

  • Zero-commission per transaction and nominal subscription-based service model
  • Direct payment from consumer to driver
  • High scalability of the software system and operations
  • A single app for both drivers and customer

The OptRoute app is available for Android devices and can be installed from Google Play Store.

It is currently available for operational use in multiple cities across India, including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Faridabad, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Noida, Panchkula, Pune, Mohali, Surat and Zirakpur.

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