Ola, the popular ride-hailing company this week announced the roll-out of its artificial intelligence-enabled safety feature, Guardian in 17 markets across India and Australia. After running a successful pilot across multiple cities in India and international markets, the Guardian feature is going live in 16 Indian cities as well as Perth in Australia. Ola aims to take Guardian to more cities in the coming quarter.
The Guardian feature, developed by Ola as a world-first, uses real-time data from rides to automatically detect irregular trip activity, including prolonged stops and unexpected route deviations. These alerts are flagged off in real-time to Ola’s dedicated 24×7 Safety Response Team, who immediately reach out to customers and drivers to confirm if they’re safe and offer on-the-call assistance until ride completion. Customers can also alert police authorities and their loved ones in parallel, through the Emergency button on the app. Ola Guardian is built on artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities on the Ola platform which enables it to continuously learn and evolve from millions of data points every single day, to improve risk signalling and instant resolution.
Speaking about Ola’s focus on safety, Arun Srinivas, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Ola, said, “We are focused on developing innovations that place customer safety at the heart of platform experience. Guardian brings together the precision of Artificial Intelligence with the assurance of human intervention, enabling a uniform and safe mobility experience across the markets we operate in.” He further added, “Our safety initiatives such as Emergency Button, facial recognition system for driver authentication, and one-time-password (OTP) system, are innovations that have all been built in India and now lead the global benchmarks for the mobility industry. We are committed to further innovating on key areas like safety, consumer and partner experience in our mission to build mobility for a billion people!”
Taking a holistic approach to building a secure platform, Ola also conducts mandatory verification through stringent criminal records checks as well as mandatory online training for drivers that includes modules like customer service and etiquette, platform usage, partner support, defensive driving amongst others. To prevent driver impersonation Ola has put in place a facial recognition system in place, which prompts on-duty drivers to upload a selfie and authenticate themselves multiple times in between rides. This feature is live across India and is also being piloted in various international markets.
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Prajakta is a Writer/Editor/Social Media diva. Lover of all that is 'quaint', her favourite things include dogs, Starbucks, butter popcorn, Jane Austen novels and neo-noir films. She has previously worked for HuffPost, CNN IBN, The Indian Express and Bose.