Ride-hailing platform Ola has launched ‘Ola Drive’ a self-drive car-sharing service in India. The service has been initially rolled out for users in Bengaluru with Hyderabad, Mumbai, and New Delhi to follow shortly. The company says that it intends to host a fleet of 20,000 cars by 2020, however, it has not cleared that exact timeline of the mentioned expansion. Ola claims that this is 50 per cent more than the fleet size of the entire industry put together.
‘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. 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. 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,’ said Arun Srinivas, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Ola.
Ola Drive has over 200 million subscribers in the country and it will enable users to design their own package, control everything from the number of kilometres and hours, to fuel inclusion. The company claims that this allows for savings of up to 30 per cent over other providers. All Ola Drive cars will come equipped with Ola’s connected car platform ‘Ola Play’, enabled through a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment device with GPS, media playback, and bluetooth connectivity.
Ola will introduce the service to users in Bengaluru through pick-up stations located at residential and commercial hubs. Users can choose to book a car of their choice for as little as two hours by paying a security deposit starting at Rs 2000. Users will also have access to the platform’s support and safety features such as a 24/7 helpline, emergency button (which prompts an immediate call from Ola’s dedicated safety response team) and real-time tracking. The service will also include roadside assistance.