Olacabs.com, an online car rentals and cab services venture from ANI Technologies, has partnered with ZipDial to allow users to track their cab’s location and expected time of arrival with a missed call.The phone based cab tracking service  will be available free of charge to the users in all markets where Ola provides its services: Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi-NCR.

How it works: On booking an Olacab through phone, web or the mobile app, the customer is provided with details including cab registration number and a phone number. With a simple missed call to this number, the customer will get an SMS with details like how far the cab is, and how long it will take to reach him. As the users just have to give a missed call to the number, the service is free of cost for all Olacab users.

The Olacabs missed call cab tracking feature is an interesting concept as missed calls have always been popular in India. Users, irrespective of whether they have a smartphone or a feature phone, can use the service. Secondly, users do not have to pay to track the cab. Ideally, if Olacabs had launched a smartphone app to track the cab, users would have to pay for data. Here users do not have to pay for data or for SMS. Apart from that, cab rental services also face problems such as last minute cancellation or non-availability. The cab tracking feature might help users be more assured about the availability of cabs.

Other developments: Recently, Olacabs had tied up with Makemytrip.com, the online travel agent, to offer car rentals for local and outstation travel in Mumbai, Bangalore & Delhi-NCR. Apart from car rentals, Olacabs also offers pick and drop to the airport while booking on MakeMyTrip and offer a 10% discount on the taxi fare (not a promotional activity).

Olacabs had also recently launched its real time Android and iOS app to book or track cabs on their smartphone. Users can book a cab with just a single click, following which Olacabs sends SMS and email alerts with details like name of the cab driver along with his phone number, pickup date and time, cab details like model and number of the car and the user’s address which is automatically shared by the mobile app. Earlier this year, Olacabs had raised an undisclosed amount in a Series A funding from Tiger Global Management. In April 2011, Olacabs had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from angel investors Rehan yar Khan, Shaadi.com Group founder Anupam Mittal,among others.