Traffic congestion is one of the banes of any modern city. It was listed in one of my limitations to the metamorphosis of Lagos into a Smart City.
Suggested read; The challenges to Lagos becoming a Smart City
In April 2014, the founders of Beat Traffik conducted an extensive 8-month long research to understand the root cause of traffic congestion in urban cities. This research led to the creation of a prototype web application and Twitter handle, and these mediums were used to reach over 10,000 people in Lagos within a year.
The traffic reports distributed from these mediums were gotten via the Google Traffic APIs, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority(LASTMA), and a dedicated traffic radio station in Lagos. As effective as the information was at the time, Odionye Confidence the CEO of Beat Traffik noted that although the traffic reports were accurate and real-time, the impact on traffic congestion was still minimal.
So in 2015, Beat Traffik conducted a survey on why their users still experience traffic and this research birthed the Beat Traffik 2.0. Beat Traffik 2.0 is the revamped version of a service that seeks to decongest traffic.
How it works
The Beat Traffik app relies on data aggregation from users to function. Like the first instruction presented, you are asked to make reports around the places you have been in. This is to ensure that others plying that same route can use the data.
There are icons on the side of the map; a green van for the traffic report and a red van modelled after an ambulance that takes emergency reports. The traffic report section allow users to provide information with 3 preset options; road signs that depict a heavy traffic jam, lightly congested traffic and free moving traffic. Emergency reports are not so different as the 3 preset options include a fire, robbery and an accident.
Selecting any of these options, the user inputs the location of a traffic jam or emergency report. Other users within a 5-kilometer radius will be alerted.
Although no good business can exist without a competitor, the CEO/Founder of Beat Traffik prefers to think of them as collaborators. According to him, they have collaborated with Google Map, Waze, GidiTraffic, Tsaboin, and a lot of other players in the same industry.
Be the smartest in the room
Odionye opines that the willingness to collaborate with anyone or organization in order to put an end to this scourge (traffic congestion) is one factor that sets Beat Traffik apart.