The home grown 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.
The Additional Commissioner for Transport, L Narendra Holkar 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 innovating 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 USD 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.