Indian cab aggregator Ola is planning to invest $500 million for introducing self-drive cab service in India by injecting nearly 10,000 vehicles available for rentals to broaden the transportation spectrum.
The Bengaluru-based taxi service provider Ola has been in the Indian market since 2010, and with almost a decade-long presence, the company has continuously added new features and services. From just regular cab aggregation to luxury cabs, cab pools, “Jugnoo” auto rickshaw and bikes – Ola has been consistently widening its service spectrum. As per latest insider information, Ola will soon be investing $500 million for launching ‘self-drive’ service aimed at broadening its portfolio of transportation solutions for the Indian users.
Under the new self-drive service, Ola will induct over 10,000 new vehicles including luxury sedans and SUVs in upcoming months. Initially, the self-drive service will be available in major cities across India, and competing directly with small and big self-drive players like Zoomcar, Drivezy and Myles. The service is already in testing mode and they will launch the service under different categories like rentals, subscription and corporate leasing. The plan is to launch the service in 5 to 7 major cities in coming weeks as pilot project, and then expand it across the nation as per need.
The introduction of Ola’s new service will make it India’s largest self-driving service provider, and the company expects to cover up its debt build-up. However, certain surveys show that regular commuters still opted for a shared regular cab, rather than worrying about the ownership and driving. So for the new service to become successful, Ola might have to come up with flexible hiring options, ranging from hours to days, and be available 24×7 through mobile app and attract more consumers. Also, the service has to be “far more affordable than they are now and offer local support with an ecosystem of convenient pick-up and drop-off points” – which will take a few months.