This story was first published on Google Cloud Platform’s official blog.
Developed by Colombo-headquartered Digital Mobility Solutions Lanka (Private) Ltd, mobile taxi-hailing application PickMe is a prominent Sri Lankan start-up success story. Starting operations just four years ago, PickMe’s founders have built what Chief Architect Shayanthan Kanaganayagham describes as “a very big organization providing an essential service” in Colombo and elsewhere across the country.
Available through application stores on iOS and Android, PickMe enables people to hail taxis ranging from three-wheeled tuk tuks to luxury vehicles from Audi and BMW. The nearest available taxi from the requested vehicle class is assigned to the job. The application is available in English, Sinhala, and Tamil.
“We want to lead the local market and become a premier mobility solutions provider,” says Mithila Somasiri, Chief Technology Officer, PickMe (Digital Mobility Solutions). “We are prominent in ride-hailing at the moment, but our vision is to touch all areas of mobility.” The business has already moved into food delivery and logistics, and hopes the technology it is building will have applications within and outside the country.
“Right now, we are focused on our domestic market, because we believe it is significantly underserved but still features global competitors,” adds Somarisi. “This will help us sharpen our offering. When the time is right, we will look for other opportunities.”
Google Maps and G Suite delivering value
Digital Mobility Solutions had previously turned to digital consulting company MediaAgility to provision Google Maps Platform and G Suite for the business. It used Google Maps Platform to identify PickMe users’ locations and the best routes for taxi drivers to pick them up and deliver them quickly and safely to their destinations. “When deciding on a maps service, we found Google Maps Platform provided the features and information we needed,” says Kanaganayagham.
The organization is using Directions API – a Google Maps Platform service that calculates directions between locations – to help determine the time required to complete a journey from origin to destination. “This is very important in helping us make decisions about which driver to assign to a passenger,” says Kanaganayagham. The business also uses Places API to locate establishments, locations, and points of interest, and the best route to them.
“Google Maps Platform provided an incredible experience for our users and this encouraged us to consider Google Cloud Platform,” says Kanaganayagham. “In addition, we were using G Suite cloud-based workplace applications for communication and collaboration, and its seamless scalability gave us further confidence in Google Cloud infrastructure services.”
“We value the one-stop shop of integrated products that G Suite represents,” adds Somasiri. “We particularly like the seamless conferencing provided by Business Hangouts.”
Digital Mobility Solutions is planning to deploy new machine learning models to improve business efficiency and provide better customer and driver experiences. “We’re also expecting to move our dashboards and reporting to Google Cloud Platform, and improve our ability to explore data and grow our knowledge of our customers,” says Kanaganayagham. “With Google Cloud Platform complementing G Suite and Google Maps Platform, we’re well positioned to keep growing and enter new markets.”