Ola has started providing its connected car platform Ola Play for Ola Rental users, allowing users to control the car and driver consoles from their smartphones or through the devices mounted in the car. The company had launched Ola Play in November last year, for select Prime users in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi, eventually extending it to all users.
Ola Play offers users various custom features like music and video streaming from Apple Music, Sony LIV, Audio Compass and Fynd, which can be controlled through a smartphone. The platform will also allow rental customers to resume music, videos etc., from where it was left last. It also lets users tweak the in car air conditioning and other features. The online cab aggregator has tied up with Qualcomm for this service.
Note that the Ola Rental service is currently active only in Mumbai, and it allows users to choose between the Mini, Prime or the Lux segments. Ola charges a base fare of Rs 750 for four hours which includes travel of 40 kms and offers plans for 1 hour & 15 kms, and 8 hours & 80 kms as well.
Ola has been concentrating on adding multiple features on its platform: the company setup kiosks for cab booking at metro stations, the loyalty program Select was made available in Pune through paid memberships (it has features like no peak pricing, priority booking, Prime cabs at Mini fares, free WiFi, priority support, airport lounge access, top drivers and cars), Outstation cabs can be booked one way, peak price drops, car ride and availability tracking, luxury cars, SMS booking and easier ways to get a cab.
All of these features primarily indicate that Ola is trying to get its users to use the app for a longer time, given that at its core nature, Ola is just a point to point transport app. Offering Select memberships and other features ensures that users liken the “experience” akin to something like entertainment or being engaged with it other than treating it as a standalone transport app.