App that monitors your driver from a distance!

App that monitors your driver from a distance!

ROMA – “THAT we are developing our own version of computerised fleet management system here in Lesotho is good,” says Nyakallo Moleko, a Computer Systems and Networks Engineering student at the National University of Lesotho (NUL).
The days in which we had to cross the border, at a high cost, in search of similar solutions, are numbered.
You see, when you have this system, you can monitor hundreds of your cars and car drivers right there on your cell-phone — who is doing what, where and how — you get it all.
Any further investment into high performance computer servers can take this potentially successful business into the markets, locally and internationally.
But let’s start here.

So you are a government worried about how best to reduce accidents by monitoring the speed at which government vehicles move, and you want to do so at a lower cost?
Are you, perhaps, a rich businessman who, nevertheless, is losing sleep over runaway costs of fuel which you suspect is being used for unintended purposes?
Or maybe you are just an average taxi owner trying to make ends meet but you are forever troubled that your deceptive driver and the assistant are secretly sharing your profits?
Or you are no more than an ordinary fellow who wants to keep your car away from thieves and mischief by enabling its recovery if it is ever taken without your consent?
Nyakallo Moleko is bringing solutions to your doorstep.

Not that that there are no similar solutions locally but, “they are mostly imported solutions”.
“We are talking about home-grown solutions here,” she says.
With this app, you are able to monitor and control unsafe behaviour by your drivers.
You are able to monitor trips and their destinations.

You are able to see the idling, how much of it there is, and where it often happens.
As if that is not enough, you are able to estimate, to some degree, how much fuel is being used by your cars.
Those who have mustered the courage to enter the rough and tumble of the mighty taxi industry will tell you a thing or two.
It is very difficult to monitor drivers and their assistants.

“Some of those folks have mastered the art of deception when it comes to siphoning your hard-earned profits,” says one frustrated former taxi owner.
“I had to bid goodbye to what seemed like a good business because those folks would not give me a break.”
Some of those fellows know how to take trips when and where they want without your knowledge.

“With this app, you as the fleet manager are constantly watching them,” Moleko says.
“You know where they are, and you see where they are going.”
Suppose you are this other taxi owner who knew his taxi line to be just within Maseru (between Ha-’Nelese and Downtown) who, to his bewilderment, received a call that his car crashed in Quthing — many, many miles away from Maseru!

No worries — now you can see when the driver is heading to Quthing and you make an urgent call — “hi there—stop it!”
And then we have big businesses. Some own big trucks whose movements and whose whereabouts are hard to trace.
That comes at a cost.

Some drivers are good at stealing and selling diesel or providing false fuel invoices.
“Although it has been very difficult to come up with an accurate measure (mainly because quite a number of factors contribute to fuel consumption beyond just the distance travelled), this app is at least able to give you an estimate of how much fuel has been used.”
For businesses where time is money, controlling idling is a problem.

Some drivers will stay in one place for two to three hours — maybe guzzling a bottleful of beer or two.
Now, with this app, when your car idles, the driver receives a call, “hi there, how are you doing?”
Our system even notes the common idling places.

It tells you, “this fellow is hooked on taking a long break at this pub while so-and-so has fallen in love with that shebeen.”
And then there are the adrenalin fellows.

When you are a government, you seem to attract as drivers, those guys who like to pump adrenalin by going at really, really high speeds.
Well, Moleko has got good news for you: “If these adrenalin addicts play games with your car and go beyond a certain maximum speed, then, bip! You get a message on your cell phone — “he is speeding!” And he gets a phone call, “what’s the hurry for?”
Developing this was no easy task.

“I started with elaborate designs and tried to master them before I went into coding,” she says.
There are other features. She has developed an online payment system and payment with mobile money.
“You can use M-Pesa to pay for this service once it has started.”

Only after paying can you log in. You can log in both as a fleet manager in which case you log into all the things mentioned above.
Or you can log in as a driver, “for now, drivers can log in to search for the nearest filling station.”

Own Correspondent

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