Driving an Uber, he found a way to solve civic issues

Mar2,2024



In November 2016, while he was in the US, Jayant Ratti decided to become uber driver, Not for earning money for livelihood. But because he had a car, because he liked driving, and he wanted to go around a city and see what problems he could solve with his own power. mobility,
After a few weeks of driving, his idea started taking shape – why not work on technology that could not only help clean our cities and public spaces, but also make them safer and more livable.
Jayant did his BE in Electronics and Communications from Delhi College of Engineering, and then MS and PhD from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. His PhD involved robotics and AI, and he started a few robotics ventures in the US to provide robotic and drone-based solutions. In 2017, he returned to India, exited the robotics venture, and launched Nayan Technologies based on his experiences as an Uber driver.
“We face many issues day-to-day, about which we cry and laugh – I wanted to solve them. And the idea came when I actually went out on the road,” he says.
The solution was simple, yet powerful. It just requires people to download it Nayan app on their phone, and place the phone or in-house dash-cam on the dashboard when they are commuting to work, or picking up people, or delivering food or goods. The app's AI will detect a number of civic problems, ranging from road damage, potholes and litter to broken traffic lights and even traffic enforcement issues (someone breaking a red light, driving in the wrong direction, cutting lanes) Is. All data captured by AI is delivered to law enforcement, municipal and security bodies and fleet operators through a cloud interface.
“It empowers communities to monitor and report civic and security concerns to solve municipal problems, improving their overall quality of life,” says Jayant.
For each problem flagged, users earn nominal points that can be redeemed for cash. “I always wanted to help the common man, the people from the lowest income group of the country. This app enables people who drive trucks and buses on the road and ride bikes to earn some money apart from their normal daily wages,” says Jayant.
take the hard path
Jayant filed the intellectual property for the technology in December 2016, but pushed himself to the limit emotionally and mentally to make sure it worked. “You're trying to build a business model on your own that doesn't exist, and you want to do it well. Initially times were very difficult. You're on the road, picking up people and driving all night, testing your app. I slept in the car as much as I could, and during the day I was running my (robotics) company over Bluetooth,” he tells us. “I'll come home to my apartment to take a shower, have some breakfast, go to the office and quickly see the team. By lunch you're already tired, so you take a nap, then get back on the road and run the company, too.
After three months of driving cabs and brainstorming and fine-tuning the technology, when he came to India, there was another big challenge – convincing customers accustomed to CCTV to take a leap of faith in a yet unproven technology.
Jayant invested about $500,000 of his own money, and raised another $3 million through venture capital and the Indian government. Over time, he successfully presented his idea to the police forces in Kochi, Goa and Delhi. He then took the technology to Dubai Police. This technology is today used by municipal bodies in about 17 cities including Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bareilly, Jhansi, Kanpur and Lucknow. Another 40 are testing it.
Nayan Technologies was included in NASSCOM's top 10 league last year. The award recognizes deep tech startups creating new products or solutions with unique IP and potential impact



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