Ola cabs, which has become one of the largest cab sharing platforms in India will soon get into the self-drive car business. The brand has decided to enter the new business after investing $500 million in the sector. It will be the first time that Ola will invest in such a business in the Indian market. The homegrown cab hailing startup recently collected a huge investment from India’s second largest manufacturer – Hyundai and its sister brand and upcoming manufacturer in India – Kia.
Both the Korean brands have together pumped in around Rs. 2,000 crores in Ola and there is investment from Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal too. The cab-hailing business is also backed by big names like Soft Bank and Tiger Global. The Bengaluru, Karnataka-based company has raised around $3.67 billion till date through various rounds of investments.
Ola will broaden its portfolio with the introduction of the new services. Currently, Ola only offers short distance and inter-state rental cabs. With the new services, Ola will compete directly with the likes of ZoomCars, Avis, Revv, CarzOnRent and more such brands that currently offer self-driven vehicles in India.
Ola currently plans to deploy around 10,000 vehicles in the markets that will be a mix of sedans and SUVs. The exact names of the cities where Ola will provide the self-driving services are not known at the moment. However, it is quite concrete that Ola will initially offer the services only in the major cities of the country before expanding to the other cities.
With the new service, Ola will offer services like long rentals, lease and subscription of the cars. It should be noted that Revv recently started offering subscription-based car ownership in India, which promises to provide a new car if the customer chooses a plan of more than 12 months. Revv offers popular vehicles like Mahindra Scorpio, Maruti Ertiga, Hyundai Creta, Mahindra Marazzo, Mahindra XUV 500 and more.
However, the exact names of the models that will be available with the Ola services are not known yet. Ola is likely to collaborate with the major manufacturers in India to offer the services. However, the decision of entering the leasing business and other such similar services will be based purely on the market feedback.
Self-driving cars are likely to become a major business in the Indian market in the future. Currently, the option is quite unpopular but it is gaining massive popularity and soon we may see more people choosing the rental car service rather than owning a vehicle.
India is one of the world’s largest car market and it is growing at a fast pace. But, the difficulties like maintenance of the car keeps may prospective buyers away. Self-driven vehicles eliminate the need for such ownership experiences and only focusses on the time spent with the vehicle.
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