Listed carmaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd has entered the shared mobility space with an electric vehicles-based ride-hailing service called Glyd that is kicking off operations in Mumbai.
Mahindra & Mahindra, which is the largest manufacturer of electric vehicles in the country, had been running a pilot project with ride-hailing firm Ola in Nagpur by offering car variants such as eVeritos and e20Plus. It has now decided to flag off its own app-based premium service with 10 vehicles in its headquarters of Mumbai. It plans to add 40 more vehicles in the near future.
Pawan Goenka, managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra, said that Glyd will offer in-commute services such as web conferencing, curated entertainment and music content from select partners.
The delivery of these services is backed by a partnership Mahindra has signed with network solutions provider Cisco and telecom firm Vodafone. Goenka said that while Cisco will provide the backbone for web conferencing, Vodafone will furnish the infrastructure for delivering content and other connectivity features.
Mahindra’s Glyd fleet of vehicles will also offer additional features such as a privacy screen, air purifiers and strain-free lighting.
Goenka said that Glyd, which will soon be launched in other cities such as Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune, will look to add more corporate clients.
Interestingly, Ola had in 2017 partnered with Microsoft to offer its connected car platform Ola Play in its cars with the support of the tech giant’s Azure cloud services. The plan was to leverage Microsoft’s artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance driver experiences with telematics and navigation guidance; passenger experiences with cloud-based infotainment and productivity; and provide auto manufacturers with custom digital experiences for their customers.
During their rides, Ola Play customers were also able to use productivity tools such as Office 365 and Skype for Business, as well as voice-assisted controls built using Microsoft Cognitive Services and Bot framework.
Ola and rival Uber have both been turning their attention to electric vehicles.
Pradeep Parameswaran, Uber’s president for India and South Asia, said a few months ago that the US-headquartered giant was focusing on reducing its dependence on petrol and diesel cars and will switch to electric vehicles in the long term. In fact, it had planned to launch a pilot partnership with Mahindra.
Ola had last April announced Mission Electric, a programme to launch 10,000 electric vehicles, most of them three-wheelers, in the space of a year.