Vision The Institute leverages the disruptive potential of mobility and digital platforms as growth and innovation engines of the economy, thereby transforming cities to have sustainable and resilient ecosystems.
Ola Mobility Institute (OMI) is a new-age policy research and social innovation think tank, focused on developing knowledge frameworks at the intersection of mobility innovation and public good. The Institute concerns itself with public research on electric mobility, energy and mobility, urban mobility, accessibility and inclusion, and future of work and platform economy. All research conducted at OMI is funded by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (the parent company of brand Ola).
Areas of Work
OMI’s research strengthens our collective views on sustainable urban mobility and smart city initiatives, with special emphasis on data-driven mobility governance, and strengthening of public and intermediate public transport (Shared Mobility). We also study emerging technologies in the mobility space and their impact on cities from the energy, environment, and economy lenses.
Publications and Announcements
OMI leverages data-driven insights to provide actionable policy recommendations on all issues concerning EVs. These include manufacturing, securing access to raw materials, building robust charging networks, driving adoption of zero-emission vehicles, managing the end-of-life of vehicles and batteries, among others. Our work informs decision makers to adopt the principles of circular economy and equitable transition as they realise an EV future.
Publications and Announcements
OMI’s research informs and enhances our collective understanding of the nature and quality of work across the platform economy. We recommend effective and innovative ways to unlock jobs in the platform economy, strengthen asset ownership, drive financial inclusion, and guarantee social security. Additionally, we use empirical evidence to inform policies around integrating women, persons with disabilities, et al in the mainstream economy.
Publications and Announcements
Safe, Accessible, Reliable, and Affordable (SARA) Mobility systems are life arteries of an economy. OMI’s research explores the opportunity for inclusive mobility systems to unlock the full value of human capital, especially for Persons with Disabilities, women, and other mobility underprivileged groups. We use real-world evidence combined with recommendations for innovative and scalable approaches to make SARA mobility universally available.
Publications and Announcements
Ola City Sense (OCS) provides intelligent insights to policymakers and regulators for improving evidence-based governance in cities. OCS is one of the first data-for-good programmes launched by an Indian tech company. OCS is powered by anonymised, aggregated, non-personal and non-business sensitive data generated through millions of trips on the Ola platform across the globe. Additionally, data on the surroundings is gathered through sensors installed in vehicles on the Ola platform.
Publications and Announcements
Giving wings to a drone-powered India: Mapping enablers and opportunities
Commercial usage of drones is gaining momentum the world over. From aiding aerial photography for journalism, film or at weddings to delivering vaccines and medicines to remote corners of a country, drones have a host of applications. Unsurprisingly, investments in drone technologies are soaring as research estimates galloping growth for drones in the coming decade. Governments in India and elsewhere, for their part, are welcoming these initiatives and hoping to unlock the full potential of drones in driving economic growth. Due to the nascent stage of this sector, the time is ripe for concerted efforts among the government, industry, and civil society to resolve uncertainties on safety, security, privacy, and other regulatory and governance issues. In this context, this white paper outlines the enablers that could help build a thriving ecosystem for drones, suited for India, with learnings for the world.
On the Move: Urban travel experiences of Persons with Disabilities and a path to build more inclusive transport systems
As we move towards smart, sustainable and resilient mobility, there is a need to ensure that these systems are accessible and inclusive for all, including for Persons with Disabilities. This report documents the travel experience of persons with disabilities. This study was conducted in collaboration with eight organisations working for the empowerment of persons with disabilities. The report captures a detailed account of lived travel experiences of women and men with disabilities across the trip chain for buses, metros & local trains as well as intermediate public transport. The study also highlights the impact of the pandemic on the travel experiences of this community. This report makes detailed recommendations which can serve as a blueprint for making transport systems more accessible.
Autonomous On-demand Mobility: First-of-its-kind AI-led public transport for India
The Ola Mobility Institute presents a first-of-its-kind AI-led public transport solution imagined for India and the world called ‘ATOM’ - ‘AuTonomous On-demand Mobility’. ATOM is an Artificial Intelligence based Public Transportation concept to provide a demand-responsive service in cities through access controlled roads. ATOM is a concept at the intersection of Shared, Connected, Electric, and AI-powered mobility presented as an alternative to metro rail and Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) to provide equitable, viable, clean, efficient, and demand-responsive public transportation for cities.
EV-Ready India: Leveraging Competitive Advantages of States for EV Manufacturing
Over the last few years, there has been growing encouragement of local manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries and other EV components with policy measures such as the PLI scheme and proposals for manufacturing giga factories entering the fray. In light of a tumultuous and unpredictable global trade environment, localisation of value chains and production capabilities has become a necessity, especially with the pandemic-induced disruption of supply chains overly dependent on China. This white paper locates itself in the context of such challenges and opportunities for India’s EV manufacturing industry. It underscores the potential of Indian States to help India become an EV manufacturing powerhouse. Identifying certain vital factors that are essential for a region’s manufacturing success, it points out states which possess a competitive advantage under the given domain. The white paper argues for states to strategically realign their supply-side incentives and industrial policy tenets to fully leverage their respective competitive advantages to hasten the creation of robust, localised EV value chains that can cater to the world.
Buses Without Barriers: Evaluating Accessibility of Buses in Urban India
India has a large population of transport-disadvantaged people- people who experience barriers in accessing mainstream public transport. This includes Persons with Disabilities, the elderly and those with situational and temporary impairments. Despite sustained policy efforts to empower Persons with Disabilities (PwD), a large proportion of public buses in India (over 93%) are not fully accessible for this community. This white paper reviews state-issued standards of bus accessibility and procurement frameworks to highlight how accessibility and inclusive design can be prioritised in bus procurement. It also reviews international policies that utilise procurement and regulations to mainstream accessibility in public transport.
Women in the Platform Economy: Breaking Barriers and Driving Inclusive Growth
Ola Mobility Institute and Children's Investment Fund Foundation collaborated on the report, titled, Women in the Platform Economy: Breaking Barriers and Driving Inclusive Growth. The study adopts a mixed-methods approach to understand motivations, incentives and challenges of women workers in the platform economy. The findings of the report are based on extensive surveys of women who are platform workers and those who aspire to be so, and stakeholder consultations with businesses, research organisations and government. This report would act as a primer in understanding the intersectionality between women’s economic participation and the platform economy. The future of work for women holds immense promise, to be fulfilled by the collective action of all stakeholders. We believe that this report and its offshoots would catalyse women’s economic empowerment in India.
Asset Ownership in the Indian Economy: Contesting Traditional Conceptions
Research shows that asset ownership is the surefire way of monetising investments and creating a productive cycle of savings multiplication. However, the Indian economy at large remains low on asset uptake outside of land and gold. This white paper investigates the nuances of asset ownership among lower income groups and the impact it has on their household earnings and the community at large. It also identifies the scope for future research to provide greater insights into the interplay between asset ownership among poorer households, the model of platform economy businesses and the state-led aspirations for sustainable asset creation.
Unlocking Jobs in the Platform Economy: Propelling India's post-Covid Recovery
Last year, we witnessed a new face of resilience taking shape. Platform workers emerged as the superheroes who kept neighbourhoods connected, and ensured the supply of essential goods and movement of essential personnel. By working closely with city authorities, platforms and platform workers laid a strong foundation of social partnerships, thus paving the way for a far more resilient world. This was made possible by the digital-cum-economic leap India made between 2010 and 2020 - the time period that marks the genesis and rapid growth of platforms in the country. Today, as India marches towards economic rejuvenation, would platform workers who gained prominence as the new category of workers in the 21st century, remain relevant?
This report provides evidence of the socio-economic impact of platforms and points at how the platform economy is restructuring jobs in the 21st century. It also argues that this form of work is here to stay, and delineates circumstances that would enable the same.
Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) in India: Potential and Scope for Driving EV Adoption
India has committed itself to increase the number of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in its motor fleet with a slew of supply and demand-side measures to boost their uptake. This White Paper considers the role Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology can play in driving EV adoption in the country. V2G has emerged as a novel value stream for EV owners and represents a potential global opportunity worth USD 17.43 billion. With India heightening its efforts towards a shared, electric and connected future, this paper locates V2G as a potentially disruptive instrument in achieving India’s adoption targets. The paper outlines a range of principles to guide future policy action in this domain and show the way for further research, collaboration and innovation.
Bridging Policy and Innovation: Using regulatory sandbox to drive new mobility innovations
Mobility is transcending the traditional notion of traveling, hurtling towards automation, IoT and MaaS among other things. Technologies and business models are constantly evolving to keep pace with changing preferences and solutions. However, the pertinent question is whether the current regulatory framework provides an enabling environment for these innovations and technologies to create impact at scale. Accessibility, diversity, inclusion and transparency are not fully enabled under the current regulatory approach. Enter regulatory sandboxing! A regulatory sandbox provides a framework to live test innovation concepts in a controlled regulatory environment. Sandboxing enables regulators to work with innovators in mitigating risks of implementing a new solution, and develop data-driven, evidence-based policies for new technologies. This Issue Brief presents the framework of a regulatory sandbox, its advantages, evaluating its success and analyses the use of regulatory sandbox for mobility innovations. As Indian cities arrive at the cusp of a mobility revolution, regulatory sandboxing could potentially determine the way forward in enabling innovation.
Women in the driving seat: Studying the interplay between gender and asset ownership in the platform economy
For half a century now, Indian women’s labour force participation has only declined. A myriad of socio-economic and cultural factors heavily influence women’s participation in the economy. While India needs to urgently bring a series of structural reforms to improve gender parity, this Issue Brief focuses on the interplay between gender and asset ownership on women’s labour force participation. The brief further explores the role of the platform economy in improving women’s participation given the gender gap in asset ownership. Through a thorough sociological inquiry, this issue brief finds that the platform economy offers two distinct advantages, asset monetisation and flexibility, which have remained elusive in traditional models. Additionally, platforms augment asset ownership, further catalysing women’s labour force participation. Thus, labour force participation is no longer a binary decision between household duties and economic aspirations, but women now have the choice to work at will.
Reimagining Social Protection in the 21st century: Operationalising the Code on Social Security 2020
The introduction of the Code on Social Security (CoSS) 2020 leads the labour regulatory regime away from centuries-old restrictive worker classification that creates two types of labour- those that are protected with secure jobs and futures and those that are not. Ola Mobility Institute's brief, titled, Reimagining Social Protection in the 21st century: Operationalising the Code on Social Security 2020, highlights what India gets right in its latest legislative attempt: the status of workers should not be tied to the benefits offered by the job and workers should be able to commit a suitable time to the job without fear of losing their social security. As India prepares to implement its social security law, this brief presents a set of guiding principles for the governments to consider.
Electrification of On-demand Mobility in Delhi: Identification of Strategic Locations for public EV Charging Stations in Delhi
Ola Mobility Institute (OMI) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) collaborated to develop a framework on identifying strategic locations for public EV charging stations in the policy brief titled, 'Electrification of On-demand Mobility in Delhi: Identification of Strategic Locations for public EV Charging Stations in Delhi'. The policy brief briefly explains the data-based model that has been developed based on parameters such as trip data, vehicle cost, fuel cost, land cost, electricity generation and demand and identifies municipal ward wise charging locations required in Delhi. The findings from the policy brief can be used by the government, businesses and urban planners, among others, to effectively plan Delhi’s public charging infrastructure.
Leveraging and Protecting the Gig Economy against COVID-19 - Measures by Gig Economy and Governments around the World
COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis of our time that has caught the world off-guard. Ola Mobility Institute's report, titled, "Leveraging and Protecting the Gig Economy against COVID-19 - Measures by Gig Economy and Governments around the World", highlights the role of government, platforms companies and gig workers in providing essential services to society, crisis management, accelerating recovery and building resilience. The report provides an outlook into the measures adopted by platform companies and governments around the world for gig workers due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Power of Two Wheels - Bike-Taxis: India’s New Shared Mobility Frontier
India is the world’s largest two-wheeler market and two-wheelers have emerged as the engine of growth for the booming on-demand, hyperlocal economy. Ola Mobility Institute's report on Bike-Taxis in India, titled, ‘The Power of Two Wheels - Bike-Taxis: India’s New Shared Mobility Frontier’ delves into empirically understanding the impact of bike-taxis on urban transportation, employment generation, financial inclusion, economic growth and income augmentation in India.
The report estimates that bike-taxi in India has the potential to create over 2 million livelihood opportunities and a revenue of USD 4-5 billion. The report analyses data from Ola’s bike-taxi operations and interviews with 100+ drivers affiliated to bike-taxi platforms in Gurugram and Jaipur.
Ola Mobility Institute and World Economic Forum collaborated on the report, titled “EV-Ready India Part 1: Value Chain Analysis of State EV Policies” uses a value chain framework to analyse the EV policies in 10 Indian states. The value chain framework pays attention to the multisectoral and multistakeholder aspects of EV policies, divided into three different value chains: electric vehicles; charging; and the surrounding network.
As India prepares to decarbonize its transport sector, curb pollution and reduce dependence on oil imports,
Institute provides the much-needed blueprint for acceleration of EV adoption in the country. By studying the
issues - ranging from vehicle performance, customer charging behaviour, the impact of temperature on
battery life, to the integration of renewables at the charging station, among others - OMI draws upon the
the country’s first multimodal electric mobility project in Nagpur. Download the report now to know how
India can deploy
over a million EVs for everyday commute by 2020.
At a time, when women’s mobility has captured everyone’s
imagination, Ola Mobility Institute analyzed data from 11 cities
with 9935 female respondents to understand women’s travel
preferences and expectations from urban transportation systems.
The empirical evidence emphasizes the importance of including
women and girls' perspectives across income groups and occupations
when preparing transportation plans and policies and makes
recommendations to urban mobility surveys. Download the report t
know what women and girls want from our urban mobility systems.
To evaluate mobility scenarios in urban agglomerations, Ola
Mobility Institute has developed a unique evaluation framework
called the Ease of Moving Index. In its first edition in
2018, the Index has considered 50+ parameters grouped under the
three pillars of People, Infrastructure, and Sustainability, for
evaluating mobility scenarios. A first-of-its kind mobility survey
of over 43,000 respondents has been carried out in 20 foremost
cities in India. Further, secondary data from cities and
aggregate-level anonymized rides data from Ola have been analysed
for this evaluation.
The Ease of Moving Index aims to support policymakers,
planners and practitioners, and businesses and citizens alike to
identify mobility requirements of cities in India, challenges
faced by the public, and aspirations of the citizens. The Index
helps promote sustainable mobility through emerging technologies
and business models, and enables cities to benchmark their
performance with other comparable cities on various predetermined
mobility parameters. The Index provides for an overall score cum
ranking of each city, with the Ola Mobility Institute aspiring to
release annual Ease of Moving Index rankings for cities to
benchmark improvements achieved on each of the parameters and
enable a competitive spirit amongst the cities to improve mobility
holistically and in a sustainable fashion.