I’ve frequently traveled to South East Asia since my parents are from Malaysia. The region is notorious for having incredibly bad traffic problems. The most congested traffic I’ve experienced is Bangkok in Thailand. Beijing is fairly bad too but since rules aren’t really enforced, it’s not uncommon to see cars drive on footpaths. Traffic is a huge problem that costs time, energy, emissions and is a main cause of road rage.  Next time I suggest turning up the radio and dancing in your car if you’ve got no other choice.

But a more logical and technologically advanced way of solving this problem is to do what LewatMana in Indonesia is doing a collborative platform for beating the traffic in Jakarta. Lewatmana offers Indonesian drivers a platform for pooling information on traffic conditions in the bustling capital. Users share a network of webcams, tweets and text messages in addition to official cameras. In this way they can manage and plan their journey, helping to reduce traffic and CO2 emissions. For solving such a prevalent and important social problem, LewatMana was one of the top 10 projects chosen at the Net Explorateur competition in France. A prestigious world wide competition where 500 projects applied, then eventually shortlisted to top 10.

So to get some insight into LewatMana and a bit about the start-up environment in Indonesia, I interviewed its founder Hendry.

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Jason Lim

Jason is an Australian born Chinese living in Beijing, specializing in entrepreneurship, start-ups and the investment eco-system in China, especially in the tech and social area.