Ride-hailing company Ola has introduced an ‘offline-booking’ feature on its mobile app, enabling passengers to book cabs without an active internet connection, a key competitive advantage over smaller rival Uber.
“While connectivity continues to be an infrastructural challenge, we are constantly building innovative technology that helps fill the gap, and the launch of Ola offline feature is a major step in that direction,” said chief technology officer Ankit Bhati.
The feature will automatically appear when the user is offline, allowing him to send his location via SMS. The user will receive a text message with details of cabs available around, along with the steps on how to make the booking. Once the booking is confirmed, he will get another text message with the driver details.
Over the past few months, Ola has aggressively stepped up the focus on differentiated India-focussed technology innovation and launch of multiple categories and consumer experience initiatives in a bid to maintain its market leadership.
In August, rival Uber introduced a ‘Dial-an-Uber’ feature allowing users in some cities to book cabs without the app, but still needing an active mobile internet connection.