Homegrown ride-hailing firm Ola said on Wednesday it has obtained licence to launch a self-drive car rental service from the Karnataka State Transport Department.
Users will be able to lease both intra-city and inter-city cars from convenient pick-up and drop points, it said.
Ola also intends to offer short-term rental, long-term subscription, and corporate leasing models, it said.
Narendra Holkar, Additional Commissioner for Transport, confirmed to PTI: "We have given them licence for Rent-a-Cab."
An Ola spokesperson said it is already providing 'tailor-made' mobility offerings across 12-plus categories including cabs, three-wheelers, and two-wheelers.
"Launching a self-drive service is a natural extension for Ola and we are excited to build innovative offerings for both individual and corporate customers," the spokesperson added.
As part of its new self-drive segment, Ola said it will be deploying over 10,000 cars including hatchbacks, sedans and Sports Utility Vehicles from a range of automakers.
Ola would be investing over $500 million in the self-drive business in the next two years, and the company is working with leading car makers including BMW, Audi and Mercedes to make luxury cars accessible to mass commuters through a subscription model, a company executive said.
Ola also ran an internal pilot under a category named 'Ola Drive' to test out the offering before launching it nationwide in the coming months, the executive said.
Ola already owns close to 1,00,000 vehicles through its leasing arm and Ola Fleet Technologies, he added.
Other Indian players operating in the self-driving car rental space are such as Drivezy, Zoomcar, Revv, and Myles among others.
Drivezy, which claims to have a customer base of about 1.5 million registered users, is said to have processed over four lakh bookings as of May 2019.
Zoomcar claims to have more than 7,000 cars, catering to over 2,000 rides every day, and have a customer base of two million.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)