India’s homegrown ride-hailing app, Ola has rolled out its services in London with over 25,000 drivers registered so far.
Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder of Ola said in a tweet:
Along with its immediate rival Uber, Ola will also be competing with the likes of Bolt, Kapten, ViaVan, Hailo, Wheely and Xoox among others.
The Soft Bank-backed taxi app ventured into the United Kingdom market in 2018 with operations in South Wales followed by Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol and Reading.
To ensure safety and high-quality service in London, Ola has teamed up with DriveTech, part of the AA (formerly The Automobile Association); Mercer, a global human resource consulting firm and Pearson, a British-owned education publishing and assessment service.
The company is piloting its flagship safety feature in the UK, called Guardian that uses machine learning to automatically detect irregular vehicle activity, including prolonged stops and unexpected route deviations. This is then flagged in real time to a dedicated safety response team, who will contact the rider and driver to confirm if they both are safe.
Additionally, they are also introducing the Start Code security feature, which is commonly referred to as “One time password” or OTP system in Ola’s home ground, India. The feature sends riders a unique four-digit passcode after booking a ride, which should then be entered correctly by the driver, prior to commencing the trip, ensuring the right customer is matched to the right car and driver.
Expressing views on this big launch, Simon Smith, head of Ola International said, “We are thrilled to now be live in London. This is a major milestone for our business and represents the next step in our ambitions to connect people in cities throughout the country.
“We are proud of the progress Ola has made in the UK and we look forward to building on our success by offering a differentiated service to Londoners, focused on quality, safety and reliability.”