MANILA - The University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman campus will soon be the testing ground for a fleet of e-tricycles using a new ride-hailing app.
A group of UP alumni, under the Ad-Hoc Vehicle Infrastructure Cooperative Environment (AdVICE) team, developed an app that not only allows users to hail and share an e-trike but also track the battery life and other features of the vehicle.
“It’s a TNVS system,” AdVICE head researcher Carl Dizon told ABS-CBN. “We thought of developing the app because we want to make it more convenient for people to hail tricycles. You no longer have to ask the driver his route.”
Dizon said they started developing the app in September 2018. Together with 10 e-trikes from the Department of Energy, the app - now in its alpha phase - will be rolled out in UP in August.
Since an e-trike can accommodate five to six people, the app will eventually feature a pooling system.
“There will be two apps - one for the driver and one for the rider. You can see the route for both apps. The driver’s app will also show the state of charge of the battery, speed, and other information,” Dizon said.
Engr. Jethro Limjoco, AdVICE’s project leader, said they will have UP employees test the app before fully deploying it.
He said they have also set up a charging station for e-trikes at the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute of UP.
What makes the charging station unique is that it is a fast charger, allowing e-trikes to fully charge within 30 minutes as opposed to the regular four hours or more.
“Since they are electrical vehicles, we envision them to be cleaner. They won’t release fumes,” Dizon said.
“The e-trikes provided to us have zero emissions,” Limjoco added.
The group clarified that the e-trikes are not meant to replace Ikot and Toki jeepneys in UP but instead serve as an alternative, especially for those who need to get to their destination faster.
“The purpose of this app is to consider the shortest route the e-trikes can take while also considering the energy consumption and the need to recharge the e-trike,” Limjoco said. “It’s not just routing based on cost and distance. There’s also routing based on energy - charging station location and energy consumed by the route.”
The group is also studying the possibility of launching the app at the Cagayan State University where another 10 e-trikes were provided by the DOE.
The e-trike and the app were among the innovations featured at the recently concluded National Science and Technology Week event held at the World Trade Center.
DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña told ABS-CBN that the purpose of the event was to emphasize the need for sustainable solutions.
He said it is important that political leaders are exposed to such technologies that can be used to help their communities.
Dela Peña said his favorite part of the exhibit was the one about startup companies.
“That’s what I want to happen, for us to have a lot of startups. The technology they are using are very unique and pioneering,” he said.