International ride-hailing service operator inDrive is set to launch its service in Thailand by June to capitalise on this fast-growing segment in the country.
The ride-hailing market value in Thailand is expected to reach 154 billion baht by 2028, according to market research firm Mordor Intelligence.
Roman Ermoshin, director of ride-hailing for Asia-Pacific at inDrive, said the firm began trials and free tests for drivers using the app in 2020 during the pandemic in major cities in Thailand, including Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Pattaya.
Some 1,000 drivers are now in each of those cities using the app, he said.
The company is now in the process of seeking a service licence, which was applied through its operating company in the country, Doidu Digital, by local teams and management, he said.
The service is expected to commence in June this year, he said.
Through its ride-hailing platform, passengers and drivers are free to negotiate the terms of their interaction, which may be based on price, route or other factors, said Mr Ermoshin.
inDrive challenges many difficulties that characterise mobility needs, including impersonal algorithms, onerous conditions on drivers and price manipulation, he said.
The platform is available in more than 700 cities in 47 countries on five continents and ranks second worldwide among ride-hailing services in terms of monthly installations with a total of over 150 million downloads, or four million transactions per day.
inDrive is based in Mountain View, California, and employs over 2,400 people throughout the world.
Mr Ermoshin said the cost of services with inDrive is fair because the people-to-people model allows users to agree among themselves on a price that satisfies both parties.
Passengers pay drivers directly which reduces costs and maintains lower fares. The payment for the services for the providers is also the lowest in the market without involving an algorithm, he said.
Passengers can choose their preferred driver while the driver is free to choose whether to accept the request or not.
In a related development, inDrive on Wednesday announced its partnership with global risk intelligence company Shield to strengthen inDrive's defences against fraud.
Shield provides industry-leading risk intelligence which eliminates injustice and unfairness by ensuring that negotiations and prices are kept transparent, Mr Ermoshin said.
Dishonest and fraudulent users are kept out of the inDrive platform, preventing them from causing issues such as unwarranted price hikes, he said.
Shield's Device Intelligence will provide the driving force for inDrive to stay ahead of ride-hailing fraud syndicates across the world, he said.
These fraud groups often use fake accounts, which can be created with tools such as app cloners, with stolen identities or even by taking over legitimate accounts.
"The company is rapidly launching in new markets and needs to account for the diverse and distinct fraud risks," said Mr Ermoshin.