There is a new app for commuters who use mini-bus taxis in Johannesburg launching today and its a perfect example of Africans solving African problems.

The app is called AftaRobot and it’s being marketed as a solution for commuters that use taxis from the Johannesburg Southern Suburbs Taxi Association (JSSTA).

The app hopes to streamline the operations of the JSSTA by allowing commuters to pre-book a taxi ride from a specific location (a taxi rank) much like Uber. In addition to this the app allows users to rate a drivers safety, timeliness and availability of rides.

“As a daily commuter, you will have the power to buffer your intentions instead of your time. In other words, you will be able to use the app to book the taxi in advance – whereas in the past you would have had to get up bright and early and possibly compromise your safely by waiting for a taxi to pass by due to unreliable taxi schedules,” says AftaRobot’s Obakeng Morapeli Matlhoko.

The program is supported by Qualcomm Wireless Reach and uses Qualcomm-enabled 3G/4G devices with Bluetooth, beacons and other wireless tech to enable the functionality of AftaRobot.

In the next two years Matlhoko and his team hope to implement the solution in over 10 000 vehicles and over 4 000 taxi owners

“We have undergone a process to train and empower minibus taxi drivers, owners, queue marshals and minibus taxi association staff to use mobile devices to gather route activity and performance, in order to enable commuters to receive route information, estimated time of vehicle arrival and trip time more efficiently than ever before,” explains Matlhoko.

The AftaRobot app is available to download for Android for free from the Google Play Store.