With the odd-even trial in Delhi only three days away, Ola has today announced the launch of a new feature - ‘CarPool’. This feature will allow citizens in Delhi to pool rides using their private cars through the Ola app. With CarPool, users in Delhi will be able to take advantage of Ola’s route matching algorithms to pool rides in their car with fellow passengers looking to travel in the same route. CarPool on the Ola app is voluntary and free of cost for hosts and their fellow passengers.
The Delhi government had announced a few weeks back a first of its kind experiment to implement the odd-even formula for private cars starting January 1, 2016 that is expected to curb road congestion and pollution in a significant manner.
The Friend List feature on the Ola app allows users to create a custom list by simply adding friends with their mobile phone numbers. This helps CarPool users travel with their identified friends, allowing for increased privacy.Hosts can also choose to share their ride with anyone outside of their friends.
Ola’s safety features including Track your Ride, Share Ride Details, SOS, Emergency Contacts, 24x7 Customer Support and In-trip feedback are available on CarPool as well.
How will CarPool work?
CarPool will now appear as a separate category on the Ola app in Delhi-NCR, using which customers can choose to share rides in their private cars. First time hosts can register by entering their vehicle details on the Ola app and make themselves available by clicking on ‘I am driving’ and entering their destination. Users who want a ride can click on ‘I need a ride’ mentioning their drop location. The Ola app will use algorithms to match users from within a user’s Friend List or anyone traveling on the same route in real time depending on the user’s choice. Once additional users en-route are identified, the car owner’s Ola app gets an alert with navigation to their pickup location.
Ishan Gupta, Category Head - Shared Mobility at Ola said, “CarPool is a major innovation towards building sustainable mobility for our cities at scale. CarPool will bring economy, convenience and the comfort of travelling with friends even to those who drive their own vehicles. This has potential to unlock massive idle transportation inventory in our cities, with the ease of Ola’s technology that millions already use.”
It is worth noting that there has been increased focus on enabling the ridesharing boom in the country. CarPool from Ola comes after its initiatives like Ola Share and Ola Shuttle. Uber had launched its ridesharing service UBERPool in Bangalore a few months back and launched it in Delhi a few days ago.
Read more about this: With ‘Ola Share’ and ‘uberPOOL’ has ride-sharing come of age in India?