The conservative estimate of 400,000 motorcycle trips currently operating daily in Kinshasa represent just a tip of the iceberg of total market opportunity. Increased night time trips can be a blue ocean opportunity to bring a strong value proposition to a currently underserved market.

Currently, there are very few available forms of transportation available in Kinshasa after sundown, taxi moto, car taxi or bus. While there are some cultural reasons for this with drivers still anchored to a single daily shift based around daily commutes, focus groups suggest that the far larger problem is fear of personal safety.

The issues can be summarized as one of the three following:

Driver crime to customer: Customers are unready to take a form of transportation at night because of fear that a driver could attack them. This is for all forms of transportation and is based on real attacks.

Customer to driver crime: Drivers are unready to take customers in the evening as violence and robbery against them is strong. A driver is aware that his vehicle is his most precious asset and that others would like to steal it from him. The money he carries on his body also acts as an incentive for robbery.

Third party attacks on customers and drivers: The streets of Kinshasa are tough places and crime is common. Both drivers and customers are aware of their vulnerability to attacks from third parties who are coming to attack them for financial motivation.


If SafeMotos is able to provide a safe form of transportation in the evenings it could be a revolution in the transportation market and a huge market opportunity as a company. Prices could be higher due to lack of alternatives increasing profit margins as a company and revenue to drivers. Trip volume could be extremely high due to the extreme sparsity of existing options and underlying demand of a famously fun loving city where many people without vehicles are excluded from festivities.

The purpose of this document is to identify strategies that could be implemented to enable the company to provide a night time product that would be both perceived to be safe and actually safe.


Safe Route Routing

  • Impact: Reduced risk driver and customer
  • Summary: Drivers will be routed to customer pickup location and destinations via Google Map style routing system that is optimized for the safest route, rather than the fastest route. If a driver deviates from the safe route, a mild alarm may go off in the app or a trigger at SafeMotos office to reach out to the driver.
  • Problem resolution: There are certain high danger areas in Kinshasa that if avoided can reduce risk. These would be areas with known criminal elements, poor lighting, low traffic.
  • Implementation: A routing layer in Google Maps where there are certain no go areas blocked.

Cashless Trips

  • Impact: Reduced risk driver
  • Summary: For trips from X:00pm to X:00am orders can only be placed by customers with a balance on their digital wallets, forcing trips to be cashless. There can be some visual signifier (think 711 in USA) informing that “this driver does not carry any money”. There would be an added benefit of this strategy by being a reason for users to top up their digital wallet.
  • Problem resolution: A key reason drivers are attached is for financial motivation. If drivers are known to not carry cash and this is communicated in a clear way, then it reduces to risk to drivers being robbed for quick financial gain.
  • Implementation: Use of existing digital wallet functionality, with a for force mechanism during night hours.

Deeper Review and Sharing of Information Customer <> Driver

  • Impact: Reduced risk driver and customer
  • Summary: Crowdsourcing feedback from customers and drivers then sharing it effectively allows customers and drivers to crowd source quality control and risk prevention.
  • Problem resolution: A driver or a customer who causes problems once, will likely cause problems again. By using reviews from customers and drivers on their counterpart SafeMotos can take corrective action while also giving future customer and drivers a heads up (eg “this customer is often drunk)
  • Implementation: The existing review mechanism for drivers and customers should suffice, though could use a few extra inputs. Communicating potential issues more quickly through business intelligence and also giving more information to drivers on negative customers (eg customer scores) would be easy additional steps to implement.

Customer / Driver Facial Recognition

  • Impact: Reduced risk driver and customer
  • Summary: Using facial recognition technology before a trip is started by using the drivers phone to verify both the customer and the driver will allow the customer and the driver to trust the identity of each other.
  • Problem resolution:  A concern for SafeMotos is criminals who borrow or hijack driver or customer accounts to be able to use the driver / customers record. 
  • Implementation: Installing a facial recognition API into the app and making sure drivers phones make use of front face flashes or other light source.

Verified Pickup / Dropoff Locations

  • Impact: Reduced risk driver and customer
  • Summary: For trips after a certain time, pick up location / drop off location can be set only to places in ‘green zones’ and / or to locations that have already been successfully used for pick up and drop off in the past by drivers.
  • Problem resolution: One of the most common ways for drivers to be robbed is for criminal customers to choose pick up or drop off points to be somewhere that an ambush can be implemented from. By only going to past pickup locations chosen by customers that drivers themselves have reviewed as safe, and with the knowledge that the customer is familiar with getting picked up from the spot, both the driver and the customer expose themselves to less risk.
  • Implementation: When a driver goes to a ‘new’ place during daytime hours, he can set instructions that follow on drivers can read and add too (IE, blue gate). The driver will also be asked to determine if this is a ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’ place for evening pick up. The SafeMotos agent network can also be ‘verified’ places for customers.

Customer Verification of Safe Drop Off

  • Impact: Reduced risk customer
  • Summary: When a driver is finishing a trip at night, there can be an added step of either an additional facial recognition confirmation or a picture of the customer giving a thumbs up so the system confirms the customer was dropped in a safe manner. There can be an added benefit of this in terms of customers being nudged to share these images over social media.
  • Problem resolution: Right now when a driver clicks end trip there is no way of knowing that the customer was dropped off in a safe environment. This way, there is an added protective step to make sure that a safe drop off happens and is captured for traceability.
  • Implementation: Having a camera be triggered when clicking finish trip with the image being linked to the trip receipt.

Moto Convoys

  • Impact: Reduced risk driver and customer
  • Summary: If a trip is ordered late at night, it can be mandatory to order a minimum of two bikes (with drivers working in pairs) for the duration of the trip. For increased safety, a value added service could be the ordering of even more bikes or to hire a bike carrying a police officer. The mandatory nature of this can be an advertising opportunity to ‘gift your friend a safe ride home’. Additionally, one of the extra drivers can escort the customer to a safe point like a front door.
  • Problem resolution: Criminals are usually opportunistic looking for the softest target, and an isolated driver or driver / passenger looks like an easy target. By having more drivers there is increased safety in numbers for both the drivers and passengers.
  • Implementation: Using existing tech for ordering multiple bikes. There would need to be some way for drivers to work in pairs so drivers are paired the entire evening for more efficient logistics.

Redundant GPS / Kill Switch Built into the bike

  • Impact: Reduced risk driver
  • Summary: Less of a deterrent but more a way of asset reclamation, having 1 or (ideally) 2 GPS transponders with a remote enabled engine kill switch built into the bike will make SafeMotos bikes harder to steal and enable recovery of the bike if stolen.
  • Problem resolution: This reduces the incentive for stealing bikes making SafeMotos drivers less of a target.

App Based Panic Buttons (driver and customer side)

  • Impact: Reduced risk driver and customer
  • Summary: In the SafeMotos app for both drivers and customers there can be a panic button. This button will trigger a call to all SafeMotos drivers in X distance from the call to go to the location the panic button. SafeMotos HQ will also be alerted to monitor the situation and possibly elevate the response. Drivers / customers can be ‘rewarded’ this option after X number of trips, and if the feature is abused they can be penalized.
  • Problem resolution: In Kinshasa most acts of criminality are opportunistic in a low rule of law environment. This panic button would enable drivers and customers to quickly mobilize a helpful response.
  • Implementation: This should be technically quite easy to build, as it would be a normal ‘order trip’ functionality implemented in a different way.

Driver Physical Defense Materials / Training

  • Impact: Reduced risk driver and customer
  • Summary: Drivers can receive training on conflict resolution like talking down a potential criminal or doing real time risk assessments. Drivers can also be trained and equipped with a defensive material, for example, pepper spray, in order to act in self defense.
  • Problem resolution: Often the best way to avoid an at risk situation is to have a defensive viewpoint and be able to read situations. Sometimes, a worst possible situation will happen, in which case it is valuable for a driver to be able to act in self defense of himself and potentially the client.
  • Implementation: This would require driver training, understood best practices and analysing the ramifications of any defensive tools drivers are equipped with.

Driver Physical Panic Button / Siren

  • Impact: Reduced risk driver
  • Summary: An alarm can be installed in the bike which can be paired to the drivers smartphone via bluetooth or via a physical connection (think like on treadmills or jet skis). If a driver is separated from his bike than the siren will go off attracting attention to the stolen bike.
  • Problem resolution: Man thieves are after the drivers bike, this can be a system to make SafeMotos bikes more prickly to steal and raise attention to the stolen asset.
  • Implementation: Installing a simple rip cord style panic button should be simple
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