Transportation service has undergone a tremendous change particularly over the period of last one decade. Technology has crept into every sector of transportation right from providing state-of-the-art e-ticketing, online booking to commuters, instant information about the bus routes, the passenger’s location and destination, driver feedback etc. With the advent of technology, digitalization has become a substantial part and parcel of everyday life. There are lots of countries in the world which are preoccupied with the launch of robo-taxis, fully autonomous minibus, commercialization of self-driving technologies, flying taxi service, the pilotless aircraft etc. The entire world seems to be overwhelmed by the technological revolution of this century. The culture of innovation and technology has prevailed across the world and there seems to be no looking back.
The ride-sharing companies have staggered the world with innovative concept of service. Estonia’s Bolt is a popular ride-sharing service in Eastern Europe and Africa. Helsinki-based food delivery service Wolt has raised millions of dollars since the beginning of 2018. Careem had more than a million drivers and 30 million users across 90 cities prior to its takeover by the global giant. Uber Technologies Inc, a US-based global logistics and transportation company, has transformed the transportation methods with the help of technology. Uber is geared up for food delivery by drone as it ramps up its Uber Eats service. In the first half of this year, Uber’s revenue from its Uber Eats almost doubled from a year earlier to $1.1 billion. Uber launched its first ride in 2011 in San Francisco and a couple of months earlier during this year, the global ride-hailing giant, raised over $8 billion in its initial public offering, a record raise by a tech company globally.
UberAIR service intends to use Melbourne, (Australia’s second-largest city), as the first international test site for its flying taxi service and the commercial operations might begin in 2023. It is being anticipated that individual car ownership wish of millions of citizens might vanish in the days to come in the wake of convenience, cost-effectiveness and reliability of the app-based transportation services.
There is rapid development of autonomous vehicles across the world. The autonomous driving is gaining momentum in Japan and China substantially and its impact could be seen in Pakistan in the near future. The traditional car manufacturers across the globe are also ramping up efforts for the commercialization of self-driving technologies. Autonomous driving system would prove helpful in various indoor and outdoor tasks ranging from sweeping roads or public areas, and collecting and transporting garbage.
The ride-hailing giant Uber, its one-time Middle Eastern competitor Careem bought for $3 billion, Bykea and many other local home-grown tech start-ups have proven to be enormous success in the transportation sector of Pakistan. The ride-hailing companies have transformed Pakistan’s local transportation system. Careem and Uber have had a meteoric rise in the Pakistani market and are at this juncture one of the most preferred modes of intracity travel for millions of Pakistanis, however, their reach seems to be confined to the major cities of Pakistan whereas there is gigantic potential in the rural areas which could be a lucrative market as well. With the cars not more than 10 years old, competitive rates, reliability of the drivers, targeting almost all strata of the society, massive population living in the cities, the ride-hailing services are gaining momentum in Pakistan. There is likelihood that the traditional taxis, auto rickshaws and the newly-introduced Qingq-Qi would vanish in the not-too-distant future. This is just the beginning of the end since the technology is taking the transportation system by storm.
With a whopping population growth rate and educated youth, Pakistani market is lucrative for the tech business. More investment in technology of transportation and targeting the educated segment could bring quick bucks for even the home-grown start-ups let alone the global giants. Demand for quality transportation service is soaring in almost every large city of Pakistan in particular by virtue of booming business activities.
There is every likelihood for the tremendous coup of tech-oriented transportation services in Pakistan.