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Ola Launches Self-drive Cab Rental Service in Bengaluru

The service will also include roadside assistance, to ensure a reliable, secure and comfortable driving experience, the company added

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Ola Cabs. Image source: Flickr

There is one more reason not to own a car now as ride-hailing major Ola on Thursday launched its self-drive cab rental service “Ola Drive”.

The service has been initially rolled out for users in Bengaluru, with Hyderabad, Mumbai, and New Delhi to follow shortly, the company said in a statement.

Ola Drive will appear as a new category on the Ola app. The service is being rolled out to users in Bengaluru through pick-up stations located across different residential and commercial hubs.

Users can choose to book a car of their choice for as little as two hours by paying a security deposit starting at Rs 2,000.

Ola said it intends to host a fleet of 20,000 cars by 2020 to build and scale up the Ola Drive service across several Indian cities.

Ola Cab.

“Ola Drive will play a transformative role in defining India’s car-sharing market in the next decade,” said Arun Srinivas, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Ola.

“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,” he said.

All Ola Drive cars across segments will come equipped with Ola’s connected car platform ‘Ola Play’, enabled through a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment device, and will include GPS, media playback, and Bluetooth connectivity, the company said.

Also Read: Heavier Babies are More Prone to Childhood Allergies: Research

Users will also have access to the platform’s support and safety features such as a 24/7 helpline, emergency button (which prompts an immediate call from Ola’s dedicated safety response team) and real-time tracking.

The service will also include roadside assistance, to ensure a reliable, secure and comfortable driving experience, the company added. (IANS)

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Ola Joins Hands with Microsoft Research to Measure Real-time Air Quality

The data along with traffic and speed data can provide information on bad air-quality hotspots in the city

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Ola
Ola Cabs. Pixabay

In a bid to support the government’s efforts to combat air pollution, private cab aggregator Ola and Microsoft Research on Monday joined hands to measure real-time street level air quality data in Delhi-NCR.

Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) data will be collected through sensors mounted on Ola’s fleet of vehicles.

Ola’s fleet of cars for this has been identified, based on complex algorithms to ensure maximum geographical coverage of data.

The sensors to be mounted in the engine compartment of the cars have been custom-made by a Delhi-based company Purelogic Labs India Pvt. Ltd.

“At Microsoft Research India, we have a track record of conducting research that addresses pressing societal issues with innovative technology. The recent launch of our Societal impact through Cloud and AI (SCAI) initiative enables us to deepen our engagement with like-minded collaborators. We are excited to be partnering with Ola on the critical challenge of air pollution, leveraging their reach in the country and our expertise in edge technologies such as IoT-based sensing and AI,” Venkat Padmanabhan, Deputy Managing Director, Microsoft Research India, said in a statement.

FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash.
FILE – Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash. VOA

The project is set to begin this month and is expected to collect millions of data points over the course of one year to complete the spectrum of variation in Delhi’s air-pollution.

“Air pollution is one of the biggest global environmental challenges of today. Most air-quality sensors today measure ambient air-quality which is not reflective of the street-level pollution people are subjected to on a daily basis. This project is part of ‘Ola City Sense’, a programme to provide intelligent data based insights to cities,” said Anand Shah, Head, Ola Mobility Institute.

Also Read: India’s Health System Underperforming: Niti Aayog

Under this partnership, Ola Mobility Institute and Microsoft Research will leverage their strong research and data science capabilities to jointly conduct research to provide periodic reports and insights from the data collected.

The data along with traffic and speed data can provide information on bad air-quality hotspots in the city. (IANS)