Algorithms have become a crucial, unavoidable part of our everyday lives. They dictate the adverts we see, the news we get, the shows we watch, and much else besides. They can be hugely beneficial. They can be kept secret. They can make our lives tricky.
One area in which algorithms can sometimes muddy the waters is business travel. It should be straightforward to work out how much a ride in a taxi or cab is going to cost your company. But, as the graphs below show, sometimes that isn’t the case.
Because of the way that some taxi companies and ride-hailing businesses work out what they charge their customers – the way their algorithms work, in other words – prices for the same journey can vary quite dramatically from day to day, or even hour to hour.
Of course, unpredictable events such as traffic accidents and the resultant jams can have an effect. But on top of these variables, there can be an additional charge for waiting time.
For consumers, this is one thing. But when it comes to businesses, the consequences of these variables can be particularly pertinent.
Any travel policy that rests on employees’ ability to select the most cost-effective solution on a journey-by-journey basis is likely to be doomed to fail from the start. At the best of times, working out the likely final cost of a journey is difficult enough for the end-user. But to try to do it on the go, jumping from one app to another to compare prices, when you’re in a hurry to get from one meeting to another, is impractical.
‘Unmanaged’ approaches to ground travel also inevitably result in a lack of visibility that limits opportunities for analysis and to identify cost savings. If this state of affairs persists across a large business, perhaps on a global scale, the variables, extra charges and complexity all become even more significant.
This is why Gett Business Solutions, Gett’s specialised offering for companies, offers a totally transparent system of pricing that provides a clear estimate of all the fees upfront.