Grab launches digital street hailing, and enhanced telematics and GrabChat on 5th year anniversary

Grab riders who wish to flag down a GrabBike in Indonesia can now do so using a new feature called GrabNow. This service, unveiled at Grab’s fifth-year anniversary conference in Singapore, aims to digitise the street hailing experience. Riders will be able to leverage on all the same benefits offered by the Grab platform, including the GrabPay option, upfront fixed fares, and GrabRewards loyalty points. To use this feature, a Grab rider taps on the street hailing option, which generates a pin code. The GrabBike driver then enters said pin code into their app and the ride is booked. Rolling out this feature in Jakarta first makes perfect business sense, considering that the city’s GrabBike drivers usually congregate in small clusters and wait for riders to book rides. With GrabNow, a rider can simply walk up to a GrabBike driver nearby to book. Additionally, Jakarta’s heavy traffic congestion makes it difficult to gauge how long a GrabBike will reach the rider; this sometimes results in rides getting canceled. Using GrabNow, thus, lowers incidences of ride cancellation.

Improved telematics

When Grab first released its telematics initiative, it was used to track whether drivers were exceeding speed limits. Grab said it was able to achieve a 35 per cent reduction in speeding incidences after it sent reminders to drivers who were speeding. Today, the telematics has been upgraded to monitor other indicators of safe driving behavior, these include hard braking, sudden acceleration, and dangerous swerving. The telematics will collect all the data, and with machine learning and predictive analytics, identify those who exhibit dangerous driving behavior. Reminders and Messages will be sent to these drivers so that they can correct their behavior. This advanced telematics system will be first launched in Singapore.

Enhanced GrabChat

GrabChat has become an essential communication channel between Grab drivers and their riders. It contains template messages such as “I’m here” or “Ok coming over now” so that riders can quickly and easily inform drivers on their status. Today, Grab has enhanced this feature by rolling out auto-translation of template messages in five languages (Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu, Simplified Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese), in order to cater to regional travellers.

Other significant Grab milestones

Unlike its chief rival Uber, which reported a US$708 million loss just a week ago, Grab said it is already “profitable in certain markets and verticals.” Grab reiterated that delivering the best customer service will continue to be its core focus and it is grateful to have the backing of investors who are in the long game.


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