Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Indian autorickshaw v Uber: The Delhi road 'race' between rivals


  • 1 hour ago
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  • From the sectionIndia
BBC Pop Up, the BBC's travelling bureau, is in India this month and hit the roads of Delhi to find the answer to the ultimate question: Is it faster to take an autorickshaw or call an Uber?
Read on for the verdict.
It all started when a student at a BBC Pop Up town hall meeting at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication earlier this week, told the team about how she got lost while riding in an Uber taxi.
Screenshot of a Delhi student raising the challenges faced by the city's autorickshaw drivers due to the rise of taxi-riding apps. Text reads: Image copyright@BBCpopup
On Wednesday afternoon, BBC Pop-Up's Matt Danzico and Vikas Pandey decided to put this to the test.
Matt called an Uber while Vikas hailed an autorickshaw. They agreed to race each other from Hailey Road in central Delhi to Karol Bagh in west Delhi.
Screenshot of a BBC Pop Up tweet about the Image copyright@BBCpopup
At the beginning, both rivals seemed confident in their mode of transport:
BBC Pop Up's Vikas Pandey tweets about his trip in an autorickshaw. Text reads: Image copyright@BBCVikas
BBC Pop Up's Matt Danzico tweets about his trip in an Uber taxi in Delhi. Text reads: Image copyright@Mattdanzico
But then, the contestants came head to head with Delhi's infamous traffic snarls:
BBC Pop Up's Matt Danzico tweets about his Uber being stuck in traffic. Text reads: Image copyright@MattDanzico
But the autorickshaw driver had a trick up his sleeve.
Text reads: My tuk tuk driver took a turn into a narrow lane, saying its a faster route! @mattdanzico - I think tuk tuk is winning this one!Image copyright@BBCVikas
Which led to this inevitable result:
BBC Pop Up's Matt Danzico tweets about getting lost in his Uber. Text reads: Image copyright@MattDanzico
BBC Pop Up's Vikas Pandey tweets selfie with autorickshaw driver Gulshan. Text: Image copyright@BBCVikas
The verdict: Autorickshaws are still the undisputable kings of Delhi's roads.
Kudos to Uber about being gracious in defeat though!
Uber India tweet responds to the Image copyright@Uber_India
BBC Pop Up's Matt Danzico tweets after catching up with Vikas Pandey and his autorickshaw. Text reads: Image copyright@MattDanzico
So why did the autorickshaw win?
Vikas Pandey says: "It just showed that auto drivers really know Delhi's alleys and bylanes and random destinations much better than GPS.
"It started out as fun, but became intense and actually felt like a Formula one race."
Matt Danzico reckons it was a battle of human versus robot brains in the end.
"This could happen only in a country like India where roads are still developed and GPS technology has not come far enough to understand developing spaces.
"It was really not a race between Uber and an autorickshaw. It was about GPS technology and old-school driver's brain."
Watch out for more on the race on video tomorrow.

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