This paper contributes to the growing literature on peer-topeer
(P2P) applications through an ethnographic study of
auto-rickshaw drivers in Bengaluru, India. We describe
how the adoption of a P2P application, Ola, which connects
passengers to rickshaws, changes drivers work practices.
Ola is part of the ‘peer services’ phenomenon which enable
new types of ad-hoc trade in labour, skills and goods. Autorickshaw
drivers present an interesting case because prior to
Ola few had used Smartphones or the Internet. Furthermore,
as financially vulnerable workers in the informal sector,
concerns about driver welfare become prominent. Whilst
technologies may promise to improve livelihoods, they do
not necessarily deliver . We describe how Ola does little
to change the uncertainty which characterizes an auto
drivers’ day. This leads us to consider how a more equitable
and inclusive system might be designed.