Ola with 25,000 drivers in London will compete with Uber, Kapten, Bolt and other cab-hailing apps in London.
Ride-hailing company Ola on Monday began operations in London with three partnerships focusing on the driver side of the platform. Ola, which will take on Uber in the crowded cab booking market in London, has partnered with DriveTech — driver training and fleet risk and safety management company to “improve the level of driving skills and knowledge of its drivers in London,” the company said in a statement. London has Uber as its largest player with 45,000 drivers followed by Bolt as its closest rival with more than 35,000 while Kapten has 20,000 drivers in the city, according to MarketScreener. With 25,000 drivers, Ola is now already ahead of Kapten.
Ola’s drivers have completed risk assessments and are given complimentary e-learning modules to improve their professional development. It has also partnered with consulting firm Mercer and assessment service provider to schools and businesses Pearson for drivers to “benefit from the highest standard of driving skills, and driver customer service and communication.”
Ola will compete with Uber, Kapten, Bolt and other cab-hailing apps in London. Overall, across the UK, Ola is now present in 28 regions with over 35,000 drivers on its platform. It would offer “six weeks of zero commission and market-leading commission rates thereafter” to drivers to help them retain more of their earnings. The company also launched its artificial intelligence and machine learning-based global safety feature Guardian to automatically detect irregular vehicle activity. Another feature called Start Code — a code required before the beginning of the commute is introduced to ensure that the driver has boarded the right cab.
“This is a major milestone for our business and represents the next step in our ambitions to connect people in cities throughout the country,” said Simon Smith, Head of Ola International. The ride-hailing company and Uber-rival, Ola will also offer ‘ride credit’ worth £25 (around Rs 2,300) to customers signing up on the platform in the first week of the launch.
Ola’s launch in London with a focus on the driver authenticity and training follows Uber losing its London licence last year as the Transport for London (TfL) found that over 14,000 Uber trips were driven by drivers that had faked their identity on Uber app. Uber, however, remains operational in London as it had appealed against TfL’s decision in December. Ola’s launch in London comes a day after the Uber’s licence in Birmingham was renewed by the city council, as reported by the Birmingham Mail.