DRIFE was conceived to solve the problem of huge commissions being deducted from the earnings of the drivers in the app-based ride-hailing industry. DRIFE aims to disrupt the existing business model employed by centralised companies and empower the true value creators within the network, i.e. the platform riders and drivers.
Our inspiration put in words of one of the greatest exponents of the industry: “Whereas most technologies tend to automate workers on the periphery doing menial tasks, blockchains automate away the center. Instead of putting the taxi driver out of a job, blockchain puts Uber out of a job and lets the taxi drivers work with the customer directly.” -_ Vitalik Buterin _
Nowadays, popular transportation network companies and mobility service providing companies, provide web and mobile platforms to fulfill on-demand taxi services of users, and have adopted a data and algorithm-driven approach for matching the demand to supply of taxis. However, often a demand-supply gap may still occur in such platforms due to an increase in unfulfilled service requests, and there is a need to create a demand-supply equilibrium based on dynamic pricing and resource allocation models. One of the ways of reducing and managing unfulfilled service requests may be increasing prices for availing taxi services with respect to the increasing demand for the taxi services as the demand and supply are highly elastic in an economy of on-demand taxi services. In the likely event of shortage (or surplus) of taxis, a price disequilibrium is created. To achieve an equilibrium price creates the need for a dynamic pricing model.
Though resource allocation and dynamic pricing techniques are available currently, such resource allocation and dynamic pricing techniques employed by such companies are prone to issues of non-transparency, lack of freedom to choose, price gouging, price manipulation by fake signals, discriminatory or personalized pricing, etc. Therefore, there is a need for a resource allocation and dynamic pricing technique that can address one or more issues of the existing techniques and also provide a better platform for the users requiring taxi services and drivers providing the taxi services.
What it does
DRIFE is a decentralized ride-hailing platform that runs on a transparent and fair market-dictated dynamic pricing and ride allocation algorithm as against a platform-dictated surge pricing model used by the incumbent centralised transportation network companies.
How we built it
Harnessing the power of distributed ledger technology and smart contracts, and by the use of a unique market-driven dynamic pricing and ride allocation mechanism, DRIFE creates an equilibrium when such demand-supply gaps occur due to a shortage (or surplus) of taxis in the market. The Drife decentralized application achieves real-time dynamic pricing through a unique incentive-based bi-directional auction cum negotiation model and thus provides a decentralised marketplace for drivers and riders to connect and transact, eliminating the reliance on a middleman to control the transaction and set prices. Drife allows each market participant to set the price that makes the most sense for them and negotiate where necessary. Therefore, unlike the existing centralised transport network companies that ostensibly claim to be marketplaces for rides, Drife strives with integrity towards building a genuine, fair, and efficient marketplace of rides.
Challenges we ran into
Connecting the blockchain with the backend and generating accounts for users is where we got slightly stuck up.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our unique dynamic pricing and ride allocation mechanism is a patent-pending invention and will soon be patented across various jurisdictions of the world.
What we learned
We learnt a lot about the Cosmos ecosystem, Tendermint core, and Starport while working on this hackathon.
What's next for DRIFE
We've launched in Bangalore and plan to go global very soon with our unique NFT based Franchise model to run decentralised operations across different cities of the world.