The third most congested city in the world has an exponential traffic challenge. Not only are there over 16 million people and 3 million vehicles within 5,000 square kilometers; every month, 30,000 new cars are being added to the roads. To make matters more difficult, the infrastructure for public transportation is relatively underdeveloped and the taxi supply has been capped at 18,000 drivers.
The solution? Volt has developed one.
Changing the Driving Game
Car owners in Istanbul waste an average of two hours a day in traffic. 8 in 10 vehicles have only one occupant, which means roads are often clogged with frustrated solo drivers.
Furthermore, Istanbul has some of the highest gas prices in the European Union. Fuel budgets can average $250 USD a month. On top of vehicle registration, maintenance and other ownership fees, these can easily add up to double the price of the car itself.
Volt is committed to changing the game with an innovative real-time, ride-matching solution that connects any car owner that has empty seats with passengers going in the same direction.
Unlike other ride-hailing apps, Volt is not dispatch-based. It doesn’t put more cars in traffic, and there are no professional drivers. Volt lets car owners earn back their driving expenses simply by continuing to travel to and from the places they always go, whether it’s home, work or school.
“There are millions of commuter cars already in traffic and Volt taps into those. With Volt, passengers get a faster, more affordable car ride that is 70% cheaper than a taxi.”
– Ali Halabi, CEO of Volt
How Volt Works
Passengers need only to set their destination and look for a car. Instead of dispatching cars, Volt looks for commuter drivers around potential passengers, heading in the same direction.
Once matched and picked up, passengers pay only the driving expenses for their portion of the ride, which average 30% the price of a metered taxi ride, while car owners drive their car as usual.
For drivers, Volt is a turn-by-turn navigation app that helps car owners navigate traffic while its powerful algorithm actively looks in real-time for passengers while en route.
With over 26,000 driver trips/month, Volt aims to cross the 1,000,000 monthly trips by end of 2017 in Istanbul alone. This will be a true game changer as ride-hailing apps can neither reach this volume, nor match the 70% reduction in taxi pricing associated with professional drivers. Once enough scale is attained, Volt will change mobility in cities as we know it, turning empty seats in traffic into a reliable and dynamic transportation network.
Safety is at the Core of Volt
To ensure that passengers don’t have to sacrifice safety, Volt partnered with Zendrive to automate the detection of risky driving behavior, and assign drivers safety scores. Zendrive’s SDK in the Volt app monitors drivers’ Caution, Control and Focus while on the road.
Driver ratings on Volt don’t come only from passenger reviews. They’re also affected by how safe their driving behavior is, as indicated by the Zendrive score. Drivers that drop below 4.5 stars on Volt receive immediate warnings, and are suspended from the platform if their rating drops below 4.0.
“Because we are offering a peer-to-peer experience in a personal car, we have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to safety. We looked at building our own solution and at hardware options, but the software Zendrive developed, using smart sensors in mobile phones, runs seamlessly under our app’s hood with a high level of accuracy.”
– Ali Halabi, CEO of Volt
For Volt, the Zendrive integration was incredibly smooth. On-boarding and getting started was very intuitive for the team. Not only was the SDK documentation extremely simple, the Zendrive Customer Success team was very responsive and provided speedy, quality guidance.
As more and more passengers try Volt, Ali hopes they won’t be able to imagine traveling any other way. Partnering with Zendrive has allowed Volt to deliver peace of mind to Istanbul’s many car passengers.
“Remember how just a few years ago, the concept of renting space in someone’s house to stay overnight was unheard of,” says Ali. “Now around the globe, it’s hugely popular. Our wide-ranging security and safety checks are designed to give individuals getting into others’ personal vehicles similar peace of mind. With this technology stack, we believe that Volt is becoming the safest place in the city!”
To learn more about Volt, visit Volt.Istanbul.
For more information on Zendrive, visit www.zendrive.com and follow us @zendrive.
Also published on Medium.