App-based ride-hailing platform, Ola has announced the launch of the 'Ola Drive' car sharing service. The new service marks the brand's foray into the self-driven car rental industry, and enables the users to design their own package allowing control over the number of kilometres and hours as well as fuel inclusion into the package. The service, Ola says, will be highly customisable for users and the freedom will allow for savings up to 30 per cent compared to other service providers. The cab hailing service intends to host a fleet of 20,000 cars by 2020, which is 50 per cent more than the fleet size of the entire industry. The company currently has over 200 million subscribers, which makes Ola Drive the largest user base for a car sharing service in the country.
Speaking about Ola Drive, 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. 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."
Ola will commence its Self-Drive service initially in Bengaluru, followed by Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi. All Ola Drive cars will come equipped with the company's connected car platform Ola Play, which is enabled through a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system and will include GPS, media playback and Bluetooth connectivity. Users will also have access to a 24x7 helpline, emergency button that will prompt an immediate call from Ola's dedicated Safety Response team, and real-time tracking. The service will offer roadside assistance as well for a hassle-free experience.
The self-drive cars will be available to users in Bengaluru at pick-up stations located across different residential and commercial hubs. The company says it conducted research with individuals with different driving experiences to understand user requirements as well as preferred car models that includes hatchbacks, premium sedans, compact and premium SUVs, luxury cars and more.