Ola launches self-drive car-sharing service Ola Drive

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on October 17, 2019

Ola and Delhivery raised $300 million and $413 million during the first quarter of this year


Ola, on Thursday, announced its entry into the self-drive, car-sharing services space with the launch of Ola Drive. The service, which was piloted in Bengaluru, is now open to select customers in the city to begin with, and will be rolled out for users in Hyderabad, Mumbai, and New Delhi shortly.

Starting with a fleet size of 500 cars, the ride-hailing app aims to be India’s largest shared-vehicle service by December 2020, with a fleet of 20,000 cars.

Ola Drive will appear as a new category on the Ola app, alongside three other categories, including Daily, Rentals and Outstation. The services are highly personalised for users, enabling them to design their own packages, controlling everything from the number of kilometres and hours (from 2 hours to 3 months) to fuel inclusion, which allows for savings of up to 30 per cent over other providers, the company claims.

All Ola Drive cars across segments will come equipped with Ola's connected car platform 'Ola Play', enabled through a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment device, and will include GPS, media playback, and Bluetooth connectivity. 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, to ensure a reliable, secure and comfortable driving experience.

“India is still a nascent, self-drive market with a fleet size of 10,000 cars, compared to half a million cars in China, which has over 40 players. The India market potential for self-drive is more than $1 billion and caters largely to a target group below 30 years of age. The market size for self-drive is currently limited, as it is still seen as an option for ‘leisure trips over the weekend’ by a certain section of the population, which believes in user-ship over ownership. Of the 300 million motor vehicles registered in India, only 10,000 cars fall under the self-drive category. More than 60 per cent of the people have drivers' licences, but less than 4 per cent of them own cars -- this is the market we are tapping, " said Arun Srinivas, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Ola.

In the first phase of its roll-out, Ola Drive will be offered as a short-term self-drive car-sharing service and the company will introduce long-term subscription, corporate leasing, and more options in the future. Ola will introduce the service to users in Bengaluru through pick-up stations located across five different residential and commercial hubs.

Ola has conducted research with individuals with different driving experience levels to get a keen understanding of their preferences. The insights has helped Ola procure user-preferred car models, enabled high-quality repairs and maintenance structures to ensure every user gets a fresh and high performing vehicle.

Ola is India’s largest mobility platform and one of the world’s largest ride-hailing companies, serving 250-plus cities across India, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. The Ola app offers mobility solutions by connecting customers to drivers and a wide range of vehicles across bikes, auto-rickshaws, metered taxis, and cabs, enabling convenience and transparency for hundreds of millions of consumers and over 2 million driver-partners and over 200 million subscribers.

Published on October 17, 2019

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