India : Ola launches Ola Mobility Institute, its policy research and social innovation unit

he Ola Mobility Institute will work with global institutions to develop a framework to assess mobility in cities across India and other markets, and develop tools to help cities ease the burden of mobility on citizens. 

Ola today announced the launch of its policy research and social innovation unit, Ola Mobility Institute. The institute will help develop knowledge frameworks on mobility, and will primarily leverage the potential of mobility as a growth and innovation engine for India. 

Spearheaded by Anand Shah, Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Ola, the institute comprises a team of researchers, academicians, policy specialists, and strategic thinkers. It includes people from IITs, Oxford University, King’s College- London, The California Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Indian School of Business, and The School of Planning and Architecture. 

The institute is recruiting a global advisory board and aims to add a dozen mobility experts to its team over the next year.

The unit will initially focus on knowledge frameworks to better understand the social and economic impact around five centres of excellence: mobility as a service, the climate footprint of mobility innovations, skill development and job creation, transportation-oriented urban planning, and the digitisation of mobility.

In a press note shared by the company Anand said: “Mobility touches everyone, everyday, everywhere in the world. The ongoing revolution in this sector promises to improve the lives of citizens, create significant employment and livelihood opportunities, and dramatically reduce congestion and pollution in cities. Every kilometre driven in a shared vehicle contributes to this, and the Ola Mobility Institute will work to ensure innovations continue to have a positive impact.”

The institute is also working with global institutions to develop a framework to assess mobility in cities across India and other markets, leveraging its vast dataset with other primary research, secondary sources, and best-in-class methodology to develop tools that can help cities ease the burden of mobility on citizens. The institute will publish a report on this research in October.  

Commitment to electric mobility

Mission: Electric, launched earlier this year, was a part of the Mobility Institute. The idea of the mission is to convene mobility providers and leverage their fleets to make electric mobility viable at scale. It builds on Ola’s knowledge base, data capabilities, and practical experience in putting hundreds of electric vehicles on road. 

As a part of this programme, Ola made a renewed commitment to electric mobility, pledging to put 1 million electric vehicles on the road in the next three years. 

The institute currently is also encouraging fleet owners and operators who deliver a disproportionate number of kilometres travelled, to help reduce the climate impact of mobility on roads.

Ola also launched the Street Safe council as a part of the institute this year. The focus is to make mobility accessible and equitable. The council’s member organisations include the Indian Road Safety Campaign, represented by its founder and president, Amar Srivastava; and the Centre for Social Research, led by its director, Ranjana Kumari. Its individual members include O.P. Agarwal, Head, World Resources Institute (WRI); Parvinder Singh Pasricha, former Director General of Police, Maharashtra; and Dr G.V. Ramana Rao, Director, Emergency Medicine Learning Centre & Research. 

Smart Grid Bulletin September 2018


View all SMART GRID Bulletins click here