Ola launches self-drive car-sharing, plans fleet of 20,000 cars by 2020

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 17 Oct 2019

Ride hailing technology platform, Ola today launched a new offering, 'Ola Drive' a car-sharing service. The service has been initially rolled out for users in Bangalore with Hyderabad, Mumbai, and New Delhi to follow shortly.

The company says it plans to build and scale up the service across several Indian cities, and intends to host a fleet of 20,000 cars by 2020, 50 percent more than the fleet size of the entire industry put together. With over 200 million subscribers, Ola Drive has the largest user base for a car-sharing service in the country.

Ola says its self-drive initiative takes a new look at the current self-driven car rental industry in India, by enabling users to design their own package, controlling everything from the number of kilometres and hours, to fuel inclusion. This the company says makes the new service highly customised for users, and the freedom of choice allows for savings of up to 30 percent over other providers.

According to the company all Ola Drive cars across segments will come equipped with Ola's connected car platform Ola Play, enabled through a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment device, and will include GPS, media playback, and Bluetooth connectivity. The customers 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), real-time tracking and include roadside assistance, to ensure a reliable, secure and comfortable driving experience.

Arun Srinivas, chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Ola, said: “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.”

He 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."

Rent a vehicle for as low as Rs 2,000
Ola says the service will be first introduced to users in Bangalore through pick-up stations located across different residential and commercial hubs. The users can choose to book a car of their choice for as little as two hours by paying a security deposit starting at Rs 2,000, which Ola says makes the new venture the most flexible car-sharing service in India. The company says it conducted research with individuals with different driving experience levels to get a keen understanding of their preferences. The insights helped it to procure user-preferred car models, enable high-quality repairs and maintenance structures to ensure every user gets a fresh and high performing vehicle.

Ola introduced its car-sharing service in October, 2019, which offers users the flexibility and freedom to rent cars for a period of time, ranging from as little as 2 hours to as long as 3 months. In the first phase, Ola Drive will be offered as a short-term subscription service with Ola planning to introduce long-term subscription and corporate amongst other options,  in the long run. Available to users across Bangalore, the service will soon be made available to customers in Mumbai, Hyderabad and New Delhi.

Representational image courtesy: Ola/Facebook