The dispute between Ola Electric and one of its customers has now reached an allegation of breach of privacy and veracity of data. The customer claims that he met with an accident while riding Ola’s electric scooter.
In this case, Ola released the data of the customer’s scooter on Twitter and called it an accident due to the customer’s fault. The customer has now sent a takedown notice to Ola Electric to remove the Twitter post for violating privacy norms by publishing the data without his consent. Apart from this, the customer has also raised questions on Ola’s data.
Earlier, the customer had sent a notice regarding the alleged defect in the brakes of the scooter. The notice has now led to more criticism for Ola, which is already battling a fire incident in some of its scooters. Ola Electric has called back over 1,400 electric scooters to test their batteries.
The latest controversy dates back to March 26, when lawyer Ritam Singh was riding his father’s new Ola S1 Pro on the Khanapara Highway in Guwahati late at night. Ritam Singh claims that he was riding at a speed of around 60 kmph when he saw a speed-breaker in front. He alleged that when he applied the brakes, instead of decreasing, the speed of the scooter increased and the vehicle lost its control.
However, about a month later, Ola Electric tweeted in this matter that Ritam Singh was overspeeding that day and he panicked and applied the brakes.
The company also entered the telemetry data of the scooter to substantiate its claim that Ritam Singh was overspeeding. Due to this people started criticizing Ritam Singh. However, Ritam Singh says in this case that he was not present when the company investigated the accident.
Ritam Singh told Moneycontrol, “The scooter was with them (Ola Electric) for 10 days. How do I know that the data of the scooter was not tampered with during that time? How can I verify the veracity of this data? Had it been done in front of me – like if they had opened the scooter in front of me and checked it – then I would not have questioned the validity of the data.”
Ritam Singh’s father Balwant Singh said in his notice that the company should not have made the telemetry data of the scooter public.
Balwant Singh said in the notice, “An agreement has been signed between Ola and us to share data for private access only. The posting of telemetry data online is in violation of the privacy agreement between me as the customer and Ola Electric as the seller.”
He said,”I had requested you (Ola Electric) through tweet to provide the data through email only. But you failed to provide it to me through email and instead you shared my data publicly.” Also, the data was not extracted in my presence, which makes me question the veracity of your claims.”
What happened on the night ofthe accident?
Recalling what happened after hitting the brakes that night, Ritam Singh said: “When the speed increased and the scooter went over the bumper, it flew in the air for a few seconds. Gaya. The bike overturned as soon as it hit the ground. It then slid for 20-30 meters before stopping at a divider.”
Ritam Singh lost his left hand in this accident and got 16 stitches on his right hand. After this a dispute started between Ritam Singh and Ola Electric about what actually happened that night.
A few weeks after the accident, Balwant Singh took to social media to express his concerns over the lack of safety of the electric scooter and the company’s response to the accident. Singh said in his post that an executive of Ola Electric had contacted him on April 11, when he complained of bad brakes in the vehicle.
He said, “On April 11, the people of the company left with the scooter and it remained in their workshop for the next 10 days. Neither we were called there even once nor did they tell what they had checked in the scooter.” He told that Ola Electric returned the vehicle to him on April 21.
Ritam Singh said, “When I asked him to show the receipt that he had repaired the car, he told me that its throttle and brakes had been replaced. After that I formally sent the test report to him over email. To this Ola Electric’s representative said that this is Ola’s proprietary data and cannot be shared.”
Later, Ola issued a statement on Twitter and clarified in this matter, about which mixed reactions have come from the people. Ola Electric said in a statement that it had conducted a thorough investigation into the accident and that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle.
Sharing the speed data of the scooter, the company said,”The data clearly shows that the scooter was being driven at high speed and the person on it applied the brakes in panic, causing him to lose control of the vehicle.
Ola Electric tracks the sensor data of the scooters in real time in its cloud. The company shared 30 minutes of data before the accident and said that the rider was riding in hyper mode. He was driving the scooter at a speed of 115 to 95 kmph.
Just before the accident, he applied all the three brakes simultaneously and the speed of the scooter was brought down to 80 to 0 kmph in three seconds. Ola Electric said that the speed of the scooter did not increase suddenly after applying the brakes. However, Ritam Singh does not agree with this data.
Ritam Singh said, “These data make no sense. I claim that I was driving at 60 kmph and when I applied the brakes, the speed increased from 60 kmph to 85 kmph And then it decreased. In the graph, the company has shown that the speed of the scooter came from 85 kmph to 0 kmph in three seconds.
How is this possible? Such speed braking is probably only available in a sports car. And if Would I have been alive if the scooter had accelerated from 85 to 0 kmph in three seconds?”
Privacy vs. Transparency
Many appreciated Ola Electric’s answer and the use of data tracking to prove a few things. At the same time, many people have expressed concern about privacy in this matter. By the way, let us tell you that all connected vehicles including all electric vehicles collect data of users and Ola Electric is no exception in this case. However, many customers are not aware of this.