Entrepreneur

Ola launching new safety-tech feature ‘Guardian’ for rideshare industry


Rideshare platform Ola is using the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to help increase safety in the rideshare industry.

The new safety-tech feature, ‘Guardian’, will be the first of its kind in New Zealand and is set to roll out in all its locations across the country early next year.

The safety technology uses real-time trip information to detect irregular activity, such as a possible crash, an unusually long stop, or an unexpected deviation from the planned route. Ola’s 24/7 Safety Response Team (SRT) is alerted and they contact both riders and drivers to confirm they are safe and offer any assistance they might need.

Because Guardian is an ‘intelligent product’ built using machine learning, it is able to continuously improve its ability to predict risk signals as it keeps collecting data over time.

The industry-leading innovation was developed by Ola’s global team as part of its ongoing commitment to safety and will be active across all its network and geographies once New Zealand goes live.

Brian Dewil, Managing Director at Ola New Zealand said: “We’re committed to developing innovations that help us provide the safest possible experience as well as solve some of the major issues that face rideshare globally. Ola is the first rideshare app in the world to have developed and implemented the kind of technology we have with Guardian and it will provide even more reassurance for our customers and drivers across New Zealand.”

Once live, Guardian will add an unparalleled layer of safety and security to Ola rides. It will build on the platform’s existing array of security measures, such as the in-app emergency button and ‘start-code’ feature which sends riders a unique four-digit passcode after booking a ride, to ensure they are paired with the right driver.

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As part of its commitment to the New Zealand market, Ola has removed its service fee for Auckland drivers for the rest of the year, enabling them to take home 100% of the trip fare, after what has been a tough year for the industry.

Ola is New Zealand’s fastest-growing rideshare app, operating in 14 locations including Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and Tauranga. Ola delivers a better value ride to passengers and a better deal to drivers, who take home more from every trip.



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