Commuters using autorickshaws can now enjoy free Wi-Fi on board the three-wheeler vehicle when they book their rides using cab hailing app Ola. The SoftBank-backed company today said it has piloted its proprietary ‘Auto-Connect Wifi’ feature for ‘Ola Autos’ in major cities and will extend it to 73 cities in the country over the next few weeks. These include the four metros as well as cities like Pune, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Hyderabad, among others. “With Auto-Connect Wifi, we are reinventing the 3- wheelers and enabling a connected experience for our customers,” Ola Senior Director and Category Head (Auto) Siddharth Agrawal said in a statement. Ola’s Auto-Connect Wifi experience is built on the foundations of key government initiatives such as Digital India, he added. “Through this first-of-its-kind innovation, we want to not only improve the quality of time spent while on the road, but also help build easy access to millions of users across the country,” Agrawal said.
The company, however, did not disclose the investment details or the number of vehicles the service will be available on. Ola, which recently raised $1.1 billion funding from Tencent and others, had said it will make strategic investments in supply, technology, and innovation for the country’s transportation needs. Ola had launched the Wi-Fi feature in 2015 for its ‘Prime’ category users. Users of its ‘Select’ membership programme can also use Wi-Fi in Micro and Mini (affordable categories) vehicles.
With the latest initiative, ‘Select’ users will be able to connect seamlessly with the Wi-Fi while onboard the autorickshaw. For first time users, once the Ola Auto ride starts, they need to tap on ‘Wi-Fi’ on the ‘Track Your Ride’ screen. They will find their unique Wi-Fi access point name and password to connect to the service.