Transportation in Colombo is about to receive an upgrade… Or so it says on the beta website of PickMe app which seems to be getting a lot of attention from the public of Colombo since its beta launch on June 22, as is evident on their Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Following positive reviews from various blogs (Yamu and ReadMe) that keep track of the trends in Colombo, PickMe seems to have created quite the hype!PickMe (2)

PickMe whose services are currently limited to Colombo, claims to be a home built technology catering to the taxi industry in Sri Lanka and attempting to solve many of its real problems via technology.

A significant observation made about PickMe is its approach to the market. PickMe has not announced an official launch yet and seems to quite comfortable in their soft launch phase recognizing errors and solving them with the amazing support they seem to be receiving from their fans around the clock! PickMe actually does listen to their customers 24/7.

It is easy to understand that PickMe is actually open to feedback; which is why it seems that more and more people are reaching out to PickMe with their feedback: Wise move.

PickMe has definitely claimed its place as a talk-worthy topic and therefore we also decided to take a closer look.

What is PickMe?
PickMe is a software solution developed on GPS and GIS technology that provides an integrated platform for booking and dispatching taxis. With this technology, PickMe hopes to optimize the matching process between taxi fleets and passengers in a simple and cost effective way for both the supply (taxi companies) and demand (passenger) of the taxi industry in Sri Lanka. That is, PickMe acts as an aggregator for the taxi services in Colombo.

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PickMe app can be downloaded for free from Google play store and app store. The Windows version is yet to come.

Once logged in to the app you are directed to an interface with a map indicating your current location (picked via GPS). It also shows three options of taxis – tuks, minis and cars.

Once the type of taxi is selected, the taxis that are available around your location are shown on the map. If there’re taxis available you can hail the taxi closest to you by simply clicking on the ‘Book Now’ button. Your taxi will arrive in about three to six minutes, at most times.

You can see the taxi coming towards you on the map and you also get SMS alerts. Provided there’re taxis around, the app does works like a charm.

Device for drivers
PickMe taxis have a device installed in their vehicles. This device hosts the PickMe Driver App which works as a GPS locator and meter.

Who built PickMe?
PickMe is a technology built by Digital Mobility Solutions Lanka (PVT) Ltd. a software company whose staff is about 50 and is headed by the Founder and CEO Jiffry Zulfer.

The PickMe office is located at no 20, Retreat road, Colombo 04.

Despite attempts made by different organization in Sri Lanka to build a similar technology, PickMe is the only one that is actually functioning. Therefore it seems safe to say that PickMe has no competition in the local market, yet. However, there is a buzz that uber the famous taxi hailing app from the US which recently began operation in India as well, will soon be coming to Sri Lanka.  PickMe fans are already arguing if uber will manage to conquer the local market over PickMe. PickMe says they’re up for the challenge and their fans seem to share that confidence.

“Might just be the first start up to take off and go the distance” – on Twitter

“Great app, great tech. And great service. You’ve earned my business” – on Facebook

What is in store?
PickMe has published a list of enhancements they wish to add to the application in the near future. The list looks like this:
– Filtering search and choosing taxis from desired Taxi Service
– Saving favorite addresses within the app
– Sharing live trip information with family and friends
– In-app Credit Card Payments (Visa/Master)
– SOS Button to notify emergencies
– In-app promotions
– Voice Navigation for the Driver App

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