Indian autorickshaw v Uber: The Delhi road 'race' between rivals

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Media captionUber versus Indian rickshaw: BBC Pop Up races both across Delhi

BBC Pop Up, the BBC's travelling bureau, is in India this month and hit the roads of Delhi to film the answer to the ultimate question: Is it faster to take an autorickshaw or call an Uber?.

It all started when a student at a BBC Pop Up town hall meeting at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication earlier this week, told the team about how she got lost while riding in an Uber taxi.

Image copyright @BBCpopup

On Wednesday afternoon, BBC Pop-Up's Matt Danzico and Vikas Pandey decided to put this to the test.

Matt called an Uber while Vikas hailed an autorickshaw. They agreed to race each other from Hailey Road in central Delhi to Karol Bagh in west Delhi.

Image copyright @BBCpopup

At the beginning, both rivals seemed confident in their mode of transport:

Image copyright @BBCVikas
Image copyright @Mattdanzico

But then, the contestants came head to head with Delhi's infamous traffic snarls:

Image copyright @MattDanzico

But the autorickshaw driver had a trick up his sleeve.

Image copyright @BBCVikas

Which led to this inevitable result:

Image copyright @MattDanzico
Image copyright @BBCVikas

The verdict: Autorickshaws are still the undisputable kings of Delhi's roads.

Kudos to Uber about being gracious in defeat though!

Image copyright @Uber_India
Image copyright @MattDanzico

So why did the autorickshaw win?

Vikas Pandey says: "It just showed that auto drivers really know Delhi's alleys and bylanes and random destinations much better than GPS.

"It started out as fun, but became intense and actually felt like a Formula one race."

Matt Danzico reckons it was a battle of human versus robot brains in the end.

"This could happen only in a country like India where roads are still developed and GPS technology has not come far enough to understand developing spaces.

"It was really not a race between Uber and an autorickshaw. It was about GPS technology and old-school driver's brain."