Apple partners with Indian ride-hailing firm Ola to offer in-car Apple Music experience

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2016
Apple is venturing further into the automotive industry in a deal with Indian ride-hailing firm Ola, which on Tuesday said it will offer Apple Music to passengers as part of a new in-car experience.




Under terms of the partnership, Apple Music will be made available during rides as part of a new entertainment platform called Ola Play, the Los Angeles Times reports. Ola also struck deals with "experience partners" Sony, Qualcomm, All India Backchod, Fynd and Audio Compass to realize the initiative.

According to Ola's website, select cars will be equipped with a tablet device that grants passengers access to a variety of infotainment systems, including air conditioning and car speakers. Riders can also use the terminal to access pre-buffered high-definition video content, radio stations, personalized alerts and ebooks, among other entertainment options.

Alternatively, riders who download the Ola Play app and sync with Ola's in-car system can access infotainment controls on their smartphones.

"Cars were initially built for the driver," said Ola CEO Bhavish Agarwal. "But with ride-sharing, the control needs to be there for the passenger, and Ola Play works along that."

The Ola deal marks Apple's second partnership with a major ride-hailing firm. In May, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced a direct $1 billion investment in Chinese company Didi Chuxing, saying the strategic transaction will bring insight into certain segments of the Chinese market.

Beyond Apple Music and the customer data it will eventually glean from the Ola partnership, Apple's recent moves are seen as signs of a bigger push into automotive.

The Cupertino tech giant was widely rumored to be working on a self-driving car initiative dubbed "Project Titan," but a series of setbacks recently prompted a shift in direction to underlying autonomous vehicle technology.

Self-driving cars are thought to be the future of the international ride-hailing market. Uber, for example, is already experimenting with driverless vehicles in the U.S. Industry analysts believe Apple is priming the market for autonomous technology integration, which could begin to roll out through partners like Didi and Ola.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
      Dip a toe here, dip a little toe there
    lolliver
  • Reply 2 of 5

    Ola is getting hammered by Uber and are desperately trying to claw their way back up.

    Uber switched from number of rides per day to miles covered as a decider to pay drivers. The drivers seem to prefer this and the customers are also happy since they are no longer tied to the destination entered and can take any route/ deviation without the driver grumbling about it.

  • Reply 3 of 5
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    cali said:
      Dip a toe here, dip a little toe there
    That about sums it up. 
  • Reply 4 of 5

    Ola is getting hammered by Uber and are desperately trying to claw their way back up.

    In India? Do you have any evidence to back this claim? I live in one of the four main metros of India and Ola seem to be doing well. At least, all I see is Ola cabs everywhere, although I do know that most Uber cabs are unmarked and many are indeed using the platform.

    Uber switched from number of rides per day to miles covered as a decider to pay drivers. The drivers seem to prefer this and the customers are also happy since they are no longer tied to the destination entered and can take any route/ deviation without the driver grumbling about it.

    Are you sure Uber has switched to miles covered? According to the driver of another ride sharing firm whose cab I took a few days ago, both Ola and Uber still require their drivers to run trips that realize INR 2300/- per day (approx. $34). As both the companies largely limit themselves to the city limits, at least in the metro where I live, this means nearly 24 trips per day, at an average fare of INR 100. The driver of my cab said he was relieved that his firm wasn't in this rat race as they offered local pricing for trips as far as about 70 kilometres away from the metro and, as a result, he had to make fewer trips per day to meet the same fare collection target of INR 2300/-.

    He also wondered how both Ola and Uber are able to offer the drivers an incentive of INR 3000/- per day (yes, I am not joking) for every day they met the fare collection target of INR 2300/-. Just a few days ago, there was a major strike by both Uber and Ola drivers against non-receipt of these incentives; so much so, Ola reduced the daily fare collection target to just INR 1500/- in order to get the drivers and their cabs back on the streets.

    Apple's move is very interesting, though I wonder why they didn't go with Uber or even the new, upscale ride sharing firm, Utoo. Although they offer premium sedans, Ola is not a company one would associate with a premium ride sharing experience in India. Or, may be my views are coloured by my experience of Ola in my metro.

    edited November 2016
  • Reply 5 of 5

    Ola is getting hammered by Uber and are desperately trying to claw their way back up.

    In India? Do you have any evidence to back this claim? I live in one of the four main metros of India and Ola seem to be doing well. At least, all I see is Ola cabs everywhere, although I do know that most Uber cabs are unmarked and many are indeed using the platform.

    Uber switched from number of rides per day to miles covered as a decider to pay drivers. The drivers seem to prefer this and the customers are also happy since they are no longer tied to the destination entered and can take any route/ deviation without the driver grumbling about it.

    Are you sure Uber has switched to miles covered? According to the driver of another ride sharing firm whose cab I took a few days ago, both Ola and Uber still require their drivers to run trips that realize INR 2300/- per day (approx. $34). As both the companies largely limit themselves to the city limits, at least in the metro where I live, this means nearly 24 trips per day, at an average fare of INR 100. The driver of my cab said he was relieved that his firm wasn't in this rat race as they offered local pricing for trips as far as about 70 kilometres away from the metro and, as a result, he had to make fewer trips per day to meet the same fare collection target of INR 2300/-.

    He also wondered how both Ola and Uber are able to offer the drivers an incentive of INR 3000/- per day (yes, I am not joking) for every day they met the fare collection target of INR 2300/-. Just a few days ago, there was a major strike by both Uber and Ola drivers against non-receipt of these incentives; so much so, Ola reduced the daily fare collection target to just INR 1500/- in order to get the drivers and their cabs back on the streets.

    Apple's move is very interesting, though I wonder why they didn't go with Uber or even the new, upscale ride sharing firm, Utoo. Although they offer premium sedans, Ola is not a company one would associate with a premium ride sharing experience in India. Or, may be my views are coloured by my experience of Ola in my metro.


    Yes, Uber has switched to kilometres covered, rather than number of trips. I got this from quite a few of the Uber drivers that I have spoken to.

    Ola is having problems with their drivers. In fact in September, there was a strike where all Ola cabs were off the road here in Bangalore. Their demand was mostly against the 24 trips per day that you mention above.

    edited November 2016
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