Ola enters self-drive lane with $200 million

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BENGALURU: Cab-hailing major Ola has forayed into self-driving car business as it continues to expand the bouquet of mobility products for consumers. The sector is still at a nascent stage in India, compared to China or the US.
Ola said it has committed $200 million (Rs 1,422 crore) for its self-drive car unit. The Bengaluru-based company aims to have a fleet of 20,000 cars by 2020. This would be double the current size of vehicles available across self-drive car sharing platforms, a senior executive of Ola said.
Launch of Ola Drive, the self-driving unit, makes it a direct competitor to existing startups in the space like Drivezy and Zoomcar. At present, Ola Drive has a fleet of about 500 vehicles. “We started the pilot with 150 cars and gradually scaled it up across Bengaluru. In the beginning, Ola Drive will be offered as a short-term self-drive car-sharing service, but we are looking at bringing long-term subscriptions, corporate leasing, and other options later,” said Arun Srinivas, chief sales and marketing officer, Ola.
Ola said the service could be used for as low as two hours and consumers would need to drop the vehicle at designated spots in the city after completing the ride. Ola has also invested in dockless two-wheeler ride-sharing platform Vogo, which enables consumers to ride scooters from pick-up zones and leave it at certain spots after the ride is completed.
Srinivas said Ola Drive would be taken into new markets like Pune as it expands across the top 6-7 metro cities.

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