AUTORAJA: A SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY DRIVEN RICKSHAW SERVICE
Indian cities are likely to house almost 40% of the total Indian population by 2030. This will mean almost 590 million people across a large spectrum of socio economics and culture living, and sharing resources together. Auto rickshaws are a part of the Intermediate Public Transport system that tries to bridge the gap between the public transport systems and the privately owned vehicles. Efficient mass transport, as much as it offers numerous advantages does not address the unique demands that Indian cities pose. A key issue of most Indian cities is narrow impregnable roads which pose a huge accessibility challenge for public vehicles. The Indian Auto Rickshaw has been able to meet the needs of the Indian commuter which are unique due to infrastructure challenges, affordability, and absence of adequate special needs vehicles. However, the socio-economic sustainability of the auto rickshaws is threatened because of numerous problems that the drivers face. Limited access to knowledge and holistic solutions for solving the existing problems have increased the dependency of Auto Rickshaw drivers for socio-economic stability. Srishti Labs is working with the auto driver community, NGOs and technology partners on a community driven solution that will operate in a community driven business model that aims to empower the auto drivers socioeconomically in a self-regulating system. This will in turn make this much needed mode of transport viable, secure and sustainable.
The AutoRaja envisions a strengthened autonomy and entrepreneurial independence for the service provider, the auto driver. Shristi Labs believe that this is key to creating a safe, viable and sustainable mode of transport in urban communities. The service concept is based on the Srishti Labs framework for Smart Communities, that embraces new means of working and living by adopting innovative and, sustainable ways of communication, knowledge access sharing, and technology adoption. Inspired by permaculture principles it has three pillars of ethics: care for the people, care for the local context, and fair share. The design is based on community participation, people-to-people communication, access to local and community knowledge, shared resources, and self-regulation
Srishti Labs was conceived in 2009 as a hybrid, bridge organization that blends the creative energy of students with the disciplined expertise of industry professionals in working towards innovating for India. Its mission is to explore solutions for big challenges in Indian society, provide a platform to nurture collaborative approach for innovation & vision of the future, and to provide our clients a creative playground to develop out-of-the-box ideas that have business relevance. As an overall theme for design research and innovation at S.labs look at contemporary Indian life through the lens of Being Mobile, a broadening of perspective about the ways people encounter, engage and solve everyday problems in transition. Srishti Labs advances human centered innovation, user experience and interaction design to make critical contributions to society. We are driven by our long-term vision of creating and sustaining an environment to envision, explore, craft and express innovative solutions that are desirable, feasible, responsible and sustainable.