In a bid to entice more commuters cab hailing app Ola has launched a connected car platform for ride-sharing called ‘Ola Play’.
Speaking at the launch, Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO at Ola said, “I believe this will completely transform the consumer’s ride experience, giving the user the power to control the interactions within the car, and usher in a new era in the ridesharing industry. With over 60 Mn minutes spent in Ola rides every day, the impact on consumer comfort, convenience, and productivity can be transformative. This will further propel ride-sharing as the first choice of mobility for many more millions.”
Ola has partnered with Qualcomm, Mahindra and Mahindra, Apple Music, Sony LIV, Audio Compass, Fynd to build an interactive experience for users. Ola Play will bring advance car controls, choice of personalised content, and a fully connected interactive experience for the user. The platform hardware is built by Ola in partnership with Qualcomm.
Jim Cathey, President, Asia Pacific and India, Qualcomm International Inc. said, “We continue to invest in developing solutions for the next generation of connected cars. The latest advances in telecom infrastructure and data connectivity have redefined how individuals and machines interact with each other. We therefore wanted to create in-vehicle communication solutions that take advantage of this.”
Users can take control of the in-car experience from the Driver Console, which enables interfacing with the consumer’s device during a ride. Customers can have the Ola Play experience from their own devices or from the large screen devices mounted in-car, along with car’s surround sound systems. This context aware system uses customer preferences and current ride information like time and destination to offer personalised recommendations during the ride.
Ola Play will be made available on Ola Prime in Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Delhi for select customers and will be rolled out across other cities and to over 50,000 vehicles by March 2017.
Ola was founded in Jan 2011 by IIT Bombay alumni Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati. It integrates city transportation for customers and driver partners onto a mobile technology platform. Using the Ola mobile app, users across 102 cities can book from over 4.5 Lakh vehicles across cabs, auto-rickshaws and taxis.
Ola has also introduced a range of shared mobility services on its platform like Ola Shuttle and Ola Share for commute and ride-sharing respectively.
This year, Ola has been launched a host of features to keep commuters hooked on to its platform. In January 2016, Ola launched ‘Ola Corporate’ to offer a complete mobility experience to corporate travellers across all major Indian metros. Recently in October, it also launched the feature of offline booking on the app. Prior to this, in June 2016, Ola added car rental service on an hourly basis. Earlier in March this year, 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.