IIT Madras researchers develop application for inter-city goods logistics

The OptRoute app is available for android devices and can be installed from google play store.

IIT Madras researchers develop application for inter-city goods logistics A customer facing screenshot of the OptRoute application. (Image: IIT Madras official)
Alivia Mukherjee | Nov 13, 2023 - 4:10 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Faculty, students, and alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) devised and developed a smartphone application to enable easier and more effective movement of products or goods across cities.

The name of the application is OptRoute. It is a mobile phone software that links a driver with a client without charging a commission or an on-boarding charge. The consumer's payment is made straight to the driver, with no middlemen.

The following are the primary distinctions between OptRoute and current services:

  • Zero-commission per transaction and nominal subscription-based service model

  • Payment directly from client to driver

  • High scalability of the software system and operations

  • A single app for both drivers and customers

The initial version of the App was designed and commercialised by OptRoute Logistics, an IIT Madras-incubated start-up co-founded by N S Narayanaswamy, department of computer science and engineering, IIT Madras, and Anuj Fulia, an IIT Madras alumni. The App's core concepts were presented at the 2020 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference in Cancun, Mexico.

Narayanaswamy, said, “OptRoute aims to solve the issues in connectivity between drivers and customers in the goods logistics and transport domain. The main issues faced are unavailability of return load for transporters and vehicle capacity under-utilization. Current market of this domain is highly unorganized making it inefficient. It is also ripe for deployment of technology based solutions to reach the goals set by the National Logistics Policy, 2022.”

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Anuj Fulia, added, “We have developed a lightweight mobile application where customers and drivers can get connected. OptRoute does not use any third-party services allowing us to cut down the cost of operation to an absolute minimum and because of the same reason we are able to provide our service with zero percent commission. This design and development has had a significant contribution done by alumni and students of IIT Madras. By the end of this year, we will scale our service to be available in 500+ cities.”

The startup has also created packaging and efficient vehicle space utilisation methods, which will be included into the application if enough initial traction is reached.

The app is available for operational use is India, including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Faridabad, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Indore,Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Noida, Panchkula, Pune, Mohali, Surat and Zirakpur.

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