Homegrown cab-aggregator Ola has grown remarkably and has gone on to become one of the biggest cab-hailing service in India. The cab already offers e-mobility service in India at a limited scale and now there are reports coming in that the brand is all set to invest around $500 million in the self-drive car service in order to provide more options to customers in India. This news comes closely at the heels of the development of the ride-sharing platform gaining funding from sister companies and largest car makers of South Korea Hyundai and Kia. The two companies will jointly invest $300 million in the Indian startup.
Ola is a dominant player in the Indian cab hailing market and has major presence across the country. The Indian cab aggregator counts e-com platform Flipkart’s co-founder Binny Bansal, and some major investment bodies such as the Soft Bank, and Tiger Global among some of its big investors.
With the Bangalore based startup all geared up to enter the self-drive car business, it will see the brand locking horns with services like Myles, Drivezy ZoomCar, Avis, Revv, and CarzOnRent. However, these are relatively smaller players and Ola already has a major presence all over the country, but the services provided so far were only cab services driven by registered drivers. With the move to enter self-driving car sector, the cab-aggregator will see its portfolio expand by a large margin.
Ola is looking forward to starting this service in 7 major cities of India initially with a fleet of around 10,000 that range from luxury sedans to SUVs among others. The cities where the Bangalore-based startup currently plans on launching its new self-drive car services include Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata.
Ola is currently running this project on a pilot basis in different formats such as rentals, subscription based service, and leasing services. This move is aimed at company’s aim of expanding the portfolio of the transport solutions provided by the company. Among one of the future rivals for Ola’s new self-drive service, Revv started a car subscription program wherein the users get a new car by choosing a plan that is longer than a year. Revv’s current portfolio offers famous vehicles from the market such as Mahindra Scorpio, Maruti Ertiga, Hyundai Creta, Mahindra Marazzo, Mahindra XUV 500 among others.
As to what models the new service will offer are not known currently, but the scale at which the service will be started will surely make it the largest such service in India. Ola will partner with major carmakers in India as and when it starts the service in India. Self-driving car service has been showing a lot of potential for the Indian market, and the experts state the future will see the segment growing in India.
The self-drive service is already quite famous in the western nations and since India is one of the world’s largest car market in the stages of growth, the growth potential for the service is present in the Indian market. The self-drive services offer the customer with the option of gaining the full experience of a car ownership without the hassles of the problems that come associated with the same.