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Ola to expand ‘Guardian’ safety feature to 17 cities in India, Australia

Ola's cab-hailing smartphone app. File

Ola's cab-hailing smartphone app. File  

The ‘Guardian’ feature uses real-time data from rides to automatically detect irregular trip activity, including prolonged stops and unexpected route deviations

Ride hailing platform Ola on Monday said it will expand its AI-enabled safety feature ‘Guardian’ to 17 cities across India and Australia.

The ‘Guardian’ feature 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 24x7 Safety Response Team that immediately reach out to customers and drivers to confirm if they’re safe and offer on-the-call assistance until ride completion.

“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,” Ola said in a statement.

It added that 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 to improve risk signalling and instant resolution.

Apart from the four metros, the feature will be available in Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Nagpur, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Coimbatore, Indore and Trichy.

“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,” Ola Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Arun Srinivas said.

Ola said it 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,” it added.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 10:44:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/ola-to-expand-guardian-safety-feature-to-17-cities-in-india-australia/article30379627.ece

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