Ever find yourself overseas with limited time, trying to find nearby places to explore that align with your interests? And even after you have decided on a place, struggle to find the easiest way to get there? We often find ourselves expending effort to plan and coordinate on the fly, in what was supposed to be a carefree trip.
What if there was an app that generates for you relevant recommendations of places to go, and also lets you book a bus to those places? The app Ally does just that. Ally helps users explore their vicinity effortlessly with on-demand buses. Users can browse recommendations in the categories of food, retail, attractions, leisure and workspaces. Subsequently, they can book SWAT’s on-demand buses to their selected destination within the operating geofence.
In October 2019, SWAT launched Ally in collaboration with NEC, a leading Japanese multinational information technology company. Ally was fully operational during the week of the 26th Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress. The on-demand buses provided by SWAT ran for free during this period, within the geofence of downtown Singapore region.
Ally uses machine learning to recommend places to go based on users’ interests, location, and also the time of the day. It is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that continually adapts to users’ behaviour on the ground. SWAT’s transport algorithm generates, in real-time, optimised routes for the buses to pick up multiple users travelling to the same area based on individual users’ booking requests.
There is immense potential for transport technology such as ours to add value to the retail market. Through Ally, we combine our transport technology with NEC’s retail expertise to recommend relevant places to go for users at the right time and then deliver them to the doorsteps of retailers. Retailers benefit as we boost the visibility of their brands during their customer’s search stage. Tourist organisations also have a more targeted avenue to promote tourist attractions to travellers.
At SWAT, we look at how we can get people to their destination in the most efficient route possible. We hope that Ally can help travellers ease their search process when it comes to looking for interesting sites to visit and gain higher accessibility to unfamiliar places. Users of Ally enjoy greater convenience with the reduced search effort and the shared bus ride-booking option on the same platform.
Ally is available for you to download in the app stores until 26 December 2019 (under the name “Ally Explore”). The on-demand bus service is no longer in operation but you can still explore the app and get relevant recommendations on where to go in central/downtown Singapore. At the time of this writing, Ally has a 5 star rating in the App Store.