After exiting Microsoft Azure, Ola recently Gone away from Google Maps. And in-house shifted to Ola Maps. “We’ve been using Western apps to map India for a long time, and they don’t understand our unique challenges: street names, urban changes, complicated traffic, substandard roads, etc.,” said Bhavesh Agarwal, head of Ola. Posted on X

Challenging Google Maps will not be a cakewalk for Ola. Launched in 2005, Google Maps handles Over 50 million searches. Provides directions to more than 2.5 billion kilometers daily and daily in India.

On the other hand, tens of thousands of users use Ola Maps and Ola Electric app on their scooters every day for guided trips around their cities. The platform handles more than a million search queries per day for Ola Electric customers.

Ola Maps is positioning itself as a cost-effective alternative to Google Maps, offering developers one year of free access to Ola Maps on Krutrim Cloud and more. 100 crores in free credit. “The first year is free, and after the free period the pricing will be a fraction of the current product, about 70% cheaper and in ₹$ not $$! (sic),” Agarwal said.

Still in its early days, Ola Maps did not receive positive feedback on its first day. “This Ola Maps is useless. It’s raining heavily in Bombay. Had to book an auto. Map search bar keeps freezing. Got angry and went to Uber.” Posted A user on X.

“Ola maps got misplaced because of this when I booked Ola in my apartment even though there is only one society of this name in the whole world” Posted Another user.

Agarwal isn’t the only one challenging Google Maps right now. Recently ISRO chief S Somanath claimed That “ISRO’s Bhowan is 10 times better than Google Maps”.

More than just a map

Google Maps is more than just a tool for navigation. It offers a wide range of features, including traffic updates, public transit information, business listings, and user reviews. It also includes advanced features like street view, 3D mapping, and indoor mapping for many locations worldwide.

On the other hand, upcoming features of Ola Maps include Street View, Neural Radiance Fields (NERFs), Indoor Images, 3D Maps, and Drone Maps. “We are outperforming competitors on 📍 location accuracy 🔍 search accuracy ⏱️ search latency 🚗 ETA accuracy,” Agarwal claimed.

Google has introduced new features on Maps in India, including Lens in Maps And Live View Walking Navigation. With these features, users can see arrows, directions, and distance markers on the maps screen, helping them quickly figure out which way to go.

The tech giant also introduced address descriptors to Google Maps to help users better understand addresses, as they are used in real life.

Google is also now experimenting with generative AI. Users can ask questions in natural language, such as “places with a vintage vibe in SF” or “rainy day activities”. AI understands these queries and provides relevant suggestions based on context.

Meanwhile, so did Google partner With Bangalore Traffic Police to help improve traffic light timings. The pilot resulted in a nearly 20% reduction in congestion at all intersections.

Advantage of Ola?

Ola’s advantage lies in its data collection capabilities.

“Our AI-first data systems utilize real-time data from millions of vehicles using Ola Maps, a fleet of Ola S1s equipped with 360-degree cameras, open source government data repositories, OpenStreetMap, partnerships, and essential Proprietary sources for mapping features such as roads, points of interest, street furniture, building geometry, and traffic signals,” Ola said in its blog post.

On the other hand, Google Maps relies on a wide array of data sources, including satellite imagery, Street View data collection, user contributions, government data, and more. 1,000 third-party sources Worldwide. In India, Google Maps has partnered with Tech Mahindra and Genesys International to collect Street View data.

Customer acquisition

Unlike Ola Maps, which is relatively new, Google Maps has an established customer base in India. It has partnered with local governments and public transport agencies to provide real-time updates on bus and train schedules, partnering with ONDC and Namma Yatri to coordinate metro schedules and bookings. Also included.

Companies like NoBroker use Google Maps to provide detailed location information and match homeowners with potential buyers or renters.

However, Ola said its maps are not just for current needs but aim to create cartographic infrastructure for future mobility innovations, including autonomous vehicles and drones. The team said the journey began three years ago to revolutionize mobility through comprehensive and dynamic mapping solutions.

Agarwal is planning Ola plans to launch electric cars and integrate Ola Maps into them. There is a strong possibility that Ola is also working on autonomous cars like Tesla’s FSD.



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