After Ola, it’s Uber which has got into the fray of running autos in India. Users can book an auto through Uber App by simply tapping on the option, ‘UberAUTO’ which is displayed along the side of UberGO, Uber BLACK and UberX.
The mode of payment as of now is only limited to cash only which means, users can pay the driver directly in cash upon reaching their destination.
Following are a few key features of UberAUTO:
- The fare will be structured as per the rules set out by Delhi state authorities.
- Fare adjustments are not possible for UberAUTO rides as rides are paid for in cash
- No booking fee or additional charges
- It is not mandatory to have any minimum balance in the user’s wallet to be able to book UberAUTO.
- A valid Uber account should exist in order to be able to book an UberAUTO ride
- UberAUTO is only available within Delhi. Nevertheless, it is rumoured to be soon coming to Pune as well.
The primary difference between Ola Auto and UberAUTO is the mode of payment. While customers can pay an Ola Auto driver through mobile wallet, wherein the amount gets directly deposited to the diver’s bank account, with Uber that option is not available. For the auto services, Ola does not charge any commission from the drivers on its network for every ride. Instead, the drivers get a commission in the range of Rs 1,500 a month. However, when Ola had started its autos, it commenced with a monthly payment of Rs 5,000 to the drivers which was later reduced to about Rs 3,000 a month. The passenger pays an additional Rs 10 as a convenience charge on the total fare, reports the Business Standard. Nevertheless, Ola, with its largest network in India has established its name as one of the most economical private transport services in the country.
Ola had introduced auto booking service last year in November, starting with Bangalore. Now they have expanded their auto-ride service to Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Bangalore.
By introducing autos, it could be Uber’s attempt to get rid of its premium image in the country more cost efficient and mass appealing. Further, to strengthen its hold in the Indian market, the company has got in ties with Times Internet Limited. “India is one of our fastest growing markets in the history of Uber and one where we are investing heavily in continued growth,” says Travis Kalanick, CEO, Uber Technologies. Also, the company had secured $ 1.8 billion Series E funding in December 2014 in two transactions – $1.2 billionfrom New Enterprise Associates, Lone Pine Capital, Valiant Capital Partners and Qatar Investment Authority & had kept the option of raising $600 million more from Baidu. Till date, Uber has received $5.9 billion funding in 10 rounds from 39 investors.
First Taxi then Food Delivery and now Autos, the competition between Ola and Uber has always been neck to neck. It will be interesting to wait and watch out for what lies ahead, which area gets conquered next and by whom first.