The pilot is reportedly being tested on 3000 cars.

Uber is testing in-car entertainment to counter rivals Ola Play
Atom Cab Aggregators Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 11:20

Cab aggregator Uber has secretly started a pilot in India to offer in-car entertainment to rival Ola Play, Ola in-car entertainment platform that offered a range of content from music to videos and advanced car controls, according to a report by FactorDaily.

Sources have told FactorDaily that Uber started the pilot a few months ago in Delhi and then extended it to Mumbai and Bengaluru. Other cities will soon follow.

The pilot that is being tested on 3000 cars seems to be Uber’s move to offer the same kind of experience as rival Ola, which currently is the market leader in India’s cab aggregator space.

According to a source, Uber’s devices have bigger and better screens than Ola’s and the service is only available on Uber’s sedans and with cars that are leased to drivers by Uber.

Both Ola and Uber are aggressively expanding their presence in India. While Ola has its presence in over 100 cities, Uber is currently present in only 29 cities.

Content, quality of service, and vehicles are becoming critical for the cab companies as they slowly reduce discounts leading to multiple protests by drivers over falling incomes and long working hours. “We are trying to build stickiness with the customer with the service,” the first source told FactorDaily.

Unlike Ola, which built in-car entertainment technology, Uber has taken the technology from partners and its aggregating content and one of its key partners for content is Hungama.

For content, Ola has partnered with players like Apple Music, Sony LIV, AIB, Arre’, Audio Compass, among others. And while it is not fully clear how Uber’s platform will work, Ola’s customers can also connect their smartphones to the device in the car.

“We believe this will enhance the future of automobiles and the mobility experience for millions in the time to come for both customers and driver-partners,” Ankit Jain, senior director and head of Ola Play, had said in a statement in March.

Moreover, Uber was the first one to offer onboard connectivity when its partnered with Airtel’s 4G services for data connectivity.

It has a three-way partnership with Intel and IoT provider Aeris for a larger play in the connected car space.

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