In a bid to ensure continuous access to mobility, cab hailing app Ola has launched ‘Ola Offline’ across key metros in India. The feature will enable users to book a cab without Internet on their smartphones.
According to a company statement, Ola has been piloting the feature in smaller towns and cities since June this year. Starting with four metro cities, Ola plans to roll out the feature in rest of the cities, over the coming weeks. The feature will be available across all cab categories viz. Micro, Mini, Prime, and Lux.
Speaking on the launch, Ankit Bhati, CTO & co-founder, Ola said, “While connectivity continues to be an infrastructural challenge, we are constantly building innovative technology that helps fill the gap, and the launch of the ‘Offline feature’ is a major step in that direction. We understand that while an Ola might be available around you, a working Internet connection might not always be. Ola Offline will now plug this gap.”
How ‘Ola Offline’ Works
- While attempting to book a cab on the Ola app in the absence of an Internet connection, users will now get two options: Retry or Book via SMS.
- Customers can choose ‘Retry’ if they’ve come to a place with better Internet connectivity, or go with the second option.
- On selecting the latter, users will get redirected to their default messaging app where they will see a pre-entered text message requesting Ola to book a cab.
- On sending the text message, users will get an SMS with the particulars of the nearest available cabs across categories.
- Once they select their preferred cab category, they will receive driver and cab details instantly by SMS.
- The driver, on the other hand, will also receive customer contact details and the GPS triangulated location of the user.
Once the Internet connectivity resumes, the ride details, GPS tracking, SOS button, and other features associated with the ride will be available for the user on the Ola app.
The ‘Offline’ feature was piloted in several smaller markets like Indore and Nagpur and saw significant acceptance among the consumers in these cities over the past few weeks. Following its success in these markets, the feature will be rolled across all the 102 cities that Ola operates in.
Using the Ola mobile app, users across these cities can book from over 4.5 Lakh vehicles across cabs, auto-rickshaws, and taxis.
Prior to this, in June 2016, Ola added car rental service on an hourly basis. Earlier in March, it introduced Ola Micro, offering a ride for INR 6/km to take on Uber’s UberGo service that was priced at INR 7/Km.