Since May this year, Volkswagen will start implementation of their first phase of car assembling project in Rwanda. Under the project, they will invest $20 million and start by assembling 5000 cars per year. They will produce cars of different models like VW Polo, VW Passat and VW Teramont (SUV).
Under this phase, they will introduce 1500 cars that will be used by all people through ‘car sharing’ system.
Under the partnership with Awesomity Lab, Volkswagen will introduce an app which people will use in car sharing programme.
How Awesomity Lab won the tender?
Awesomity Lab competed and won the tender for developing a mobile and computer application that will help people hire cars to use and pay depending on kilometers travelled.
Speaking to IGIHE, the Chief Executive Officer of Awesomity Lab, Lionel Mpfizi said that in February 2017 they met Volkswagen’s delegation under the invitation as an experienced firm in technology and got opportunity to showcase their ‘Ride Hailing Car’ application that they had developed for a Nigerian.
He said that the mobile app helps people to order a car close to them and use it in transport.
According to Mpfizi, the app was highly admired by the delegation and their company was allowed to compete for Volkswagen’s tender which they won against different international firms including these from South Africa and elsewhere.
“This proved to Volkswagen that we are capable to satisfy their expectation as we had done it for other big clients. It impressed them and trusted in us. Though we are small company owned by young people, our activities prove our capability,” he said.
He added that due to their affordable prices, and quality products and working from locally was another advantages for them to win the tender.
The company also developed other applications used in education, health and transportation.
In Rwanda, there is Academia which links lecturers and students, Umbrella, teaching women and girls on sexual reproductive lessons and other applications that they developed for their clients from Nigeria, Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo
How they will operate?
Volkswagen is set to introduce ‘Integrated Mobility Solutions’ programme. This programme helps people use phone to unlock and then use the car in their travels and pay by using phone; this system which is known as ‘car sharing’.
Another approach is where people will command a Taxi and carry them to a certain place, after their services, they also command another taxi to the nearest location and move them. This system is called ‘Ride Hailing’.
“Our contribution in these programmes will be to develop apps and websites that will help all people access Volkswagen’s services suitably,” Mpfizi said.
All technology system will have been done by May and will be operationalized through ‘Fleet Management System’ a GPS mode that the company has developed. This system will help to track where the cars locate.
A person will install the app in phones. Through the app, people will provide information about the place they locate from and where they want to head, immediately, they will be directed to a car nearest them and unlock it through the app, drive and pay later depending on kilometers they used.
Also they will have a mobile number that people who don’t use smartphones will call to hire the car.