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The auto gets a remake

The metro is famous for the scorching sun and its bright yellow autos. Providing the necessary connectivity across the city, autos are an integral part of our daily life. Haggling with the driver on the fare and being taken through the longest routes have been nightmares that make call taxis cheaper than the auto. After call taxis entered and made a level play in the taxi market, several youngsters have set shops to revolutionize an auto ride.

The city has several auto startups that bridge the gap between the commuter and auto driver. These companies bring the auto to your doorstep. It helps the commuters with route information and fare. Avoiding free runs in search of passengers benefit the auto drivers.

The auto initiatives include Namma Auto, Bookmycallauto, SMS Auto, Auto Raja and Makkal Auto.

Though Namma Auto and Bookmycallauto started early they could not keep up with the demand. Auto Raja and Makkal Auto have improvised their strategy and also their fleet size and have kept up the competition. For instance, Makkal Auto sports an advanced look. Instead of a meter Makkal Auto features a tablet which displays driver details, route and fare information. A panic button on the tablet immediately switches on the video camera, which captures all the movements in the auto and also an alert is sent to the police control room with the current details of the auto and its driver. Makkal Auto also has a ladies fleet. It trains ladies from poorer sections to drive autos and gives them an opportunity to earn a living. Although these initiatives bring a refreshing twist to tackle the much touted auto terrorism, they constitute only 5 per cent of all the autos. With such new initiatives one hopes  the auto rickshaw market will also become competitive and more commuter-friendly.


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