Indian cab-hailing company, Ola, has finally launched its services in London, UK, almost four months after originally announcing plans to start operations in the British capital. In an official press release announcing the launch, the company said it will offer cabs in three categories: Comfort, Comfort XL and Exec. It also claims to have an army of more than 25,000 drivers who have registered on the platform since it started the on-boarding process last November.
According to Ola, it has tied up with DriveTech (Part of the AA), Mercer and Pearson to ensure the best experience for its customers. With safety being of paramount importance, the company said that each driver had to complete a ‘risk assessment’ test to improve the level of driving skills and knowledge. “In addition, every Ola driver in London has passed the Versant spoken English test, from education experts Pearson plc, ensuring a high level of communication in English”, said the company.
As part of its plans to make trips safer for both the riders and the drivers, Ola is also using its Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based safety feature called ‘Guardian’, which was expanded to several cities across India and Australia late last year after first rolling it out as a pilot in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Pune in September 2018. The feature, according to Ola, uses real-time data from rides to automatically detect irregular trip activity, including prolonged stops and unexpected route deviations.
Much like it does in India, Ola will also offer 24/7 voice support for riders and drivers in London, as well as a 4-digit PIN to correctly match customers and drivers. To celebrate the launch, the company is offering its passengers free ride vouchers of up to £25 for signing up in the first week after launch.
Do note that Ola has already been operating in the UK for more than a year, having originally entered the country in 2018. While it started its UK operations in South Wales, it has since expanded to a number of prominent cities in the country, including Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool. Overall, the company claims to have provided more than 3 million rides in the country with over 11,000 drivers operating on the platform.