Even though this the era of the internet and data has become akin to oxygen for survival, there are times when finds himself without data connectivity, maybe you rely only on wifi connectivity or your data pack ran out unexpectedly and your operator doesn’t support emergency data loan service. What if you need to hail a cab to get from one place to another and even the regular Kaali Peeli taxis are out of site? Ola has now launched a feature where you can book a cab in the absence of internet via SMS.
‘Ola Offline’ is the feature that will enable customers to book a cab even without Internet on their smartphones. Ola has been piloting the feature in smaller towns and cities since June this year. Starting with four metro cities, Ola plans to roll out the feature in rest of the cities, over the coming weeks. The feature will be available across all cab categories viz. Micro, Mini, Prime and Lux.
Speaking on this innovative feature, Ankit Bhati, CTO & Co-Founder, Ola said, “As the country ushers in the digital revolution with projects such as Digital India and Smart Cities, the way users experience technology is changing. While connectivity continues to be an infrastructural challenge, we are constantly building innovative technology that helps fill the gap, and the launch of the ‘Offline feature’ is a major step in that direction. We understand that while an Ola might be available around you, a working Internet connection might not always be. Ola Offline will now plug this gap.” He further added, “Mobility is an integral part of a developing economy. It should not stop, irrespective of any technology or infrastructural constraint. We will constantly look at innovative ways to realise our mission of building mobility for a billion Indians.”
How ‘Ola Offline’ works:
While attempting to book a cab on the Ola app in the absence of an Internet connection, users will now get two options :Retry or Book via SMS
Customers can choose to Retry if they’ve come to a place with better Internet connectivity, or go with the second option
On selecting the latter, users will get redirected to their default messaging app where they will see a pre-entered text message requesting Ola to book a cab
On sending the text message, users will get an SMS with the particulars of the nearest available cabs across categories
Once they select their preferred cab category, they will receive driver and cab details instantly by SMS
The driver on the other hand will also receive customer contact details and the GPS triangulated location of the user
Once the internet connectivity resumes, the ride details, GPS tracking, SOS button, and other features associated with the ride will be available for the user on the Ola app. The ‘Offline’ feature was piloted in several smaller markets like Indore and Nagpur, and saw significant acceptance among the consumers in these cities over the past few weeks. Following its success in these markets, the feature will be rolled across all the 102 cities that Ola operates in.
Esmail is our very own in-house spectrum specialist. He is passionate about Telecom, DTH and OTT video streaming apps. When not writing an article, you can find him binge watching shows on Netflix while sipping on a cup of coffee.