In day to day use of online taxi services, you may come across the complain that drivers are taking a longer way than normal to get riders to their destination. The complains say that the drivers do this to get the passengers to pay more money and in turn allow the drivers to earn more. This kind of complaint is actually very common, especially on online forums and some social media threads. While these complaints are common, the actual occurrence of this action, called “long-hauling” is actually relatively uncommon. Despite being lower in number than some online forums would have you believe, cases of long-hauling do in fact occur from time to time. In an effort to curb these cases, most online taxi services have implemented route planning and tracking in their apps. How does this route planning actually work? How does it choose the fastest route for drivers to take?
Online taxi services may choose to either partner with a GPS service and a routing service that are already working or they may choose to develop heir own GPS and routing services in house. However, it is ore difficult and expensive for an online taxi service company to develop their own software. The benefits if this added cost is that he company can have full confidence in their route planning and GPS tracking as they created it by themselves for themselves.
Generally, the GPS services used by online taxi services work by collecting the GPS data relayed by the devices of users that have installed the app. This data can be used by an algorithm to quickly determine the position of both drivers in their cars, as well as customers who need pickup and those in transit. Route planning is a bit more complicated. It still makes use of the GPS data provided by the devices of users, but to effectively plan the fastest and most efficient routes additional data needs to be collected and stored in a database. First of all, he company needs to have up to date and accurate maps of all the roads available in the city where their service is operating. They then need statistical information on the amount of traffic that can be expected at each point of these roads at any given time. With this data on hand and fed into an algorithm hat makes sense of it, the company can also make use of satellites to receive real time updates in the status of the roads at any point in time.
Using all of this information and raw data, being run through an algorithm that takes several factors into account, the online taxi service can create the most efficient route for their drivers to take from one point to another, regardless of traffic or road conditions. By keeping the information that they have constantly updated, online taxi services can continue to provide their drivers wit relevant and effective route information as well as predict the time that will be spent along the route, making the trip as a whole more efficient for both the drivers and the passengers.
By making this route information available via their mobile apps, online taxi services try to curb any chance that a driver may decide to take their passengers by a longer or less efficient route in an effort to make the passenger pay more money for the trip than they would otherwise have. However, there may still be cases where the driver may attempt to long-haul a passenger. If you were ever to find yourself in a situation where you are taking an online taxi service to a particular place and you think your driver may be taking you the wrong way or taking a longer or more round about route, there a number of ways you can react to this.
First and foremost, you can ask the driver about the alternate route that they are taking and give them a chance to explain why they are taking that route instead of the recommended one. It is possible that they have a legitimate reason to switch routes. It is also possible that the drop off destination given to the driver is incorrect due to a mistake made when putting it into the app during the ordering phase. In order to avoid misunderstandings, it is usually best to question the driver’s choice of route. This also helps to make sure that you stay safe, making sure that the driver is not taking you somewhere different than where you intended to go.
During the ride, you can always contact the taxi service company directly to ask why you are being driven along an alternate route. This may upset your driver, but asking these sorts of questions is your right as the customer. By contacting the company directly, you may be able to switch have the driver switch back to the correct route and ensure that you don’t pay more for your trip.
If you do end up completing a trip where the driver took a longer route, online taxi service apps usually keep track of the route that was taken by the driver. You can easily make use of this information to complain to the company after the fact. If you effectively make your case, you may get a reduced fare to compensate you for your wasted time.
Finally, if you ever encounter a driver that attempts to or does take a longer route for the sole purpose of making you pay more, it is important that you report the driver to the customer care service of the company, as well as rating that driver low on the app. This will help to stop the driver from continuing to make use of such underhanded tactics and may even result in the offending individual being asked to stop working for the online taxi service.
It is important to remember that since most drivers want a good rating that will allow them to get more job requests, they will not try to take passengers by a longer way to make more money and risk their rating. The practice of long-hauling is actually a rare one, and not something passengers usually have to be worried about since online taxi services use technology to plan the fastest and most efficient routes for trips.