India’s one of the largest mobility platforms Ola unveiled its new self-drive car-sharing service, 'Ola drive'. The October 17 company blog post revealed that the Ola app will now have this additional category offering the self-driving car service. To start with this service will be initiated across Bengaluru. The company has decided to follow up on the service in Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi shortly.
However, Ola needs to host a fleet of 20,000 cars in order to build and increase its service across the major part of India by 2020. It will not be an easy task, because statistically, this is "50% more than the fleet size of the entire industry put together".
This new category will surely give customers more options to choose from. They can also now customize and design their own package. They can even control everything via the app; e. g. setting the number of kilometers and hours, fueling inclusion, etc. The company claims that this freedom of choice will allow "for savings of up to 30% over other providers".
We are very excited to launch the Ola Drive category to consumers, a big step towards building a holistic shared mobility landscape in India. India’s car-sharing market has immense potential and opportunity, which is yet to see a large scale investment in technology and operations to make the model viable. Ola has been deep-rooted in India’s mobility landscape, building technology enabled transportation solutions for millions of users. Our expertise in serving millions of customers through a large fleet of vehicles across 250 plus cities has been instrumental in making ride-hailing a norm in India. Ola Drive has been built on the same DNA and will play a transformative role in defining India’s car-sharing market in the next decade - Arun Srinivas, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Ola
The report also states that the 'Ola Drive' cars will be connected with the 'Ola Play' car platform. The platform can be enabled through a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment device and will include GPS, media playback, and Bluetooth connectivity. The customers will be offered the platform’s support and safety features such as a 24/7 helpline, emergency button, and real-time tracking.
The emergency button will allow you to make an immediate call to Ola’s safety response team. In addition to these, customers will also be given roadside assistance "to ensure a reliable, secure and comfortable driving experience".
Srinivas further added:
"In the first phase of its roll-out, Ola Drive will be offered as a short-term self-drive car-sharing service as we look to introduce long-term subscription, corporate leasing, and more options in the times to come".
For now, Ola will roll out the 'Ola Drive' service in Bangalore through pick-up stations located across different residential and commercial hubs. Customers also have the freedom to choose a car of their choice and book it for as little as two hours by paying a security deposit starting at INR 2000. People who are in the need of an emergency transport service but do not want to book a cab, they can surely opt for this service offered by Ola.
The company claims to have come up with the idea after thorough research with individuals with different driving experience levels to "get a keen understanding of their preferences".
This new initiative from Ola makes it the most flexible car-sharing service in India. We hope that Ola will be able to maintain its structures and will ensure everyone a safe and refreshing driving experience through their new service.