Birds Eye Systems is a Mumbai based startup with the vision to rid us of the traffic woes that have become a part of every commuter’s daily life. Their strong technological research and backing allowed them to introduce the country’s first ever real time traffic tracker – Traffline.
Traffline was introduced around a year ago with the purpose of acting as a traffic agent that allows commuters to check traffic conditions of the city at any point of the day. Birds Eye Systems fitted probes on vehicles – call taxis, public transport vehicles and any other vehicles that have GPS installed in them. These probes continuously transmit position information which is then converted to speed information by Birds Eye’s patented algorithm.
The information received provides real time updates of the best routes to travel, traffic snarls to avoid, and road events to escape. Traffline also aids commuters to estimate travel time from one point to another and presents alternate paths to steer clear of potential traffic delays.
To make Traffline accessible to everyone, it is available on multiple platforms. There is a Blackberry, Android and IOS App available on Google’s ‘Play Store’ and Apple’s ‘App Store’ making it handy on mobile phones, and tablets. Additionally, it can be used through Traffline.com and mobile website m.traffline.com. Traffline is available in three cities – Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.
Founder – Brijraj Vaghani
Armed with an MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Brij has been working in the IT Industry for the past 9 years. His experience encompasses various challenging roles in companies across the USA and India making him the perfect person to manage the product and business developments aspects at Birds Eye Technology. Brij enjoys playing cricket and loves travelling.
Founder Profile – Ravi Khemani
Ravi, being an MS holder in Computer Science from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, has 12 years of experience tucked behind him. He handles finance, daily operations, project management, and recruitment at Birds Eye Technology. Ravi loves giving back to society by actively being involved in social work and also enjoys cricket.
Whom do we cater to?
Direct consumers of our service would be the road commuters. Currently, Traffline is utilized when the users are usually already stuck in traffic. There is a small percentage that checks for traffic information before starting their journey. We are aiming at our product to be integrated into their daily lives in an innovative way that eases their daily commute.
We are also aspiring to push traffic alerts to our users on a real time basis, instead of them pulling it out of our application. Our vision with this product is to streamline the road traffic flows and develop a scientific infrastructure in India.
What do we offer to our consumers?
- Know the ‘estimated travel time’ between start and end point considering traffic conditions.
- View regular traffic updates about road accidents and events.
- View live traffic conditions on a map.
- Check traffic situation between start points to end point through a certain route.
- Avoid traffic congestions by choosing alternate routes.
- View traffic situations near the present area.
What motivated us to start up?
The ideation process began in 2008, when we were still working in the US. We noticed that in the West, people were habituated to looking at traffic information before getting out of their house since it made planning travel so much easier. That’s when we decided that it was time India be introduced to this concept too.
We returned to India in 2009 with a common goal of creating an Intelligent Transportation System for the country. ITS is a very broad field, so we needed a product or service as the base before we could become eligible entrants.
When we founded Birds Eye we were a services company, but as a stepping stone towards our final destination, in 2012, we launched our first solution, Traffline, a live traffic information provider for daily commuters.
What’s in a name?
Birds Eye Systems aims to provide a Birds’ Eye view of the city for commuters. Ergo, the name came into place. The name Traffline is about giving information to users– personalized and relevant traffic updates just like a Twitter Timeline shows relevant tweets or a Facebook Timeline shows a relevant News Feed.
How do we see Social Media?
As compared to all the different platforms, Twitter works best with our business. The whole concept of our app is to give commuters live updates, and we find Twitter to be a complementary social media tool that helps us stay even more closely connected with our followers.
We have a dedicated team that works until late hours providing instant responses to traffic requests. Furthermore, our followers on Twitter in turn help us also by sharing their traffic news updates. Traffline trending and the number of requests coming in has been very encouraging for us, and we are glad our service is serving its purpose well.
Our Facebook page also grabs quite a bit of traction from our followers. Unlike Twitter, Facebook allows us to share more detailed information in advance with the commuters looking for traffic information. We can’t do much in the way of live feeds there, but we provide our followers with other kinds of traffic related information, for eg: Understanding PUC Rules, How to Claim Insurance etc. and arrangements for occasions like Mount Marry fair, IPL matches, Marathons etc.
Currently we are….
The initial capital for the first two years came from our personal savings and also by completing certain sidebar projects in the IT domain. Since then, we have been funded by CIIE and IAN.
Today, we have 10 products of Traffline in 3 metro cities, Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Traffline already has a user base of more than 2,50,000 and above 70,000 downloads. We rank No.9 in India in the transportation apps.
The team strength behind Traffline has now reached 20 employees excluding contractors. We scaled from 7 employees in 2011 to 20 in the current year.
Our biggest challenge was..
Getting people to believe that the information we were giving is correct and then having them decide on their travel plan based on our information.
We’re making moolah by…
We have been integrating the live traffic feed with multiple industries in the auto, travel and telecommunication sector and have seen recurring revenues there. We have recently also introduced a subscription package for our users. However, at this point, our focus is to acquire users, and build a service that will be widely used and make a real difference to people’s lives.
The Industry as we foresee
It will grow manifold and will be driven by mobile. What will be interesting is how the shift from web based social networks like Facebook, Google+ etc to mobile based networks like WhatsApp, WeChat etc occurs.
Lastly, Are you hiring?
Yes, for a range of positions. We are hiring for social media executives, mobile application developers, and web developers. One can apply at [email protected]