Zoomcar to introduce computerised car detection damage, dynamic pricing

With these new initiatives, Zoomcar customers will have an, even more, better experience with the brand and rentals.

By:Published: March 22, 2020 8:41:55 AM

Zoomcar is one of the most known names in India for car rental services. Want to head out with your family but don’t have a car? No worries. Zoomcar will help you out with a car as well as a full tank of gas. Why, even Express Drives members have used Zoomcar services in the past and have come away mighty impressed. It seems that Zoomcar is now going to introduce new services for the Indian market. We got into a candid chat with Markish Arun, VP of engineering, Zoomcar to find out more about these services.

First is the new with or without fuel concept. This one charges the customer lesser if he/she opts for having the vehicle over without a full tank of gas. Earlier, Zoomcar had a flat policy of giving out a car with the tank filled to the brim. Markish says that this has already been started now.

There is a new computer algorithm that will calculate the car damage. It is in the works is what we heard. Markish confirms and tells us that they are looking at leveraging computer vision to bolster their initiatives for detecting damages done to the car. This process would get more smart and with time. Zoomcar’s Data Science team is actively working on this interesting problem. With a huge dataset on cars and car images, Zoomcar is able to model and quantify the damage severity, in terms of dimensions and approximate relative area (w.r.t. the car’s surface area) of damage. This will make the customer billing process more seamless, automated and in real-time.

Zoomcar is all set to also introduce dynamic billing. Similar to the ones adopted by aircraft carriers. Book a ticket six months ago and you get a lower pricing whereas book it right now for a flight tomorrow and you pay more. Markish says that dynamic pricing is not just the “early bird offer”. It also depends on the supply-demand, user history/ loyalty, and other levers. Zoomcar will be offering the best prices to the customer after analysing demand curves of cars with geo locations and other factors like weekends, festivals, surge timings, and holidays, amongst others.

A subscription-based ratings program has already been launched. Markish explains that they realised that Indian drivers are more aggressive on the road with rental cars and are prone to driving rashly. To manage this customer nature, Zoomcar developed a system known as Driver Score powered by AI. The AI-powered algorithm with machine learning capabilities tracks the mechanical specs of the car being driven, and driving style of the customer. It identifies critical events of driving and rates it on a scale of 0-100. The scoring system has capabilities to give real-time feedback to drivers in the advent of rash driving to help them adjust their behavior accordingly. Within the first month of its launch, the driver score has successfully reduced the accident rate by 20 per cent and maintenance and servicing cost by 25 per cent for Zoomcar.

Zoomcar is looking at introducing this feature for a shared subscription as well in the future. With the monitoring system, Zoomcar ensures driver safety by sending alerts of speeding or any rash driving activity. The alert system is voice-activated and embedded in the audio system which plays saying “you need to slow down your speed, over speeding is dangerous”. The data generated from the vehicle movement helps us to understand driver behaviour. With real-time monitoring, Zoomcar has alerts for the driver which helps customers get control over the car at the right time and prevent accidents.

Markish concludes the conversation by saying that with insights into customer behaviour and historical patterns, Zoomcar is ready to start a customer recommendation box on the app to offer personalised discounts and vouchers. With the driver’s score and user’s historical data of bookings and brand affinity scores, Zoomcar will be able to provide a better experience to customers with better pricing & dynamic security deposits.

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