Microsoft and Grab have announced a strategic partnership that will transform the delivery of digital services and mobility in Southeast Asia by leveraging Microsoft’s knowledge in machine learning and other artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.
As a first step in the collaboration, Grab will adopt Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform and Microsoft will make a strategic investment in Grab.
“This partnership signals a deep collaboration with Microsoft on an array of technology projects, including big data and AI, that will transform the delivery of everyday services and mobility solutions in Southeast Asia,” said Ming Maa, President of Grab. “We look forward to collaborating with Microsoft in the pursuit of enhancing on-demand transportation and seamless online-to-offline experiences for users.”
As the top mobile online-to-offline platform in Southeast Asia, Grab operates in 235 cities across eight Southeast Asian countries.
“Our partnership with Grab opens up new opportunities to innovate in both a rapidly evolving industry and growth region,” said Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President at Microsoft. “We’re excited to transform the customer experience as well as enhance the delivery of digital services for the millions of users who rely on Grab for safe and affordable transport, food and package delivery, mobile payments and financial services.”
The companies will explore a number of innovative technology projects that will enhance and transform the Grab experience for users, driver-partners, merchants and agents. To help improve passenger and driver safety and security, the companies will explore new authentication mechanisms such as mobile facial recognition with built-in AI as a replacement for checking IDs.
The companies plan to leverage Microsoft’s natural language processing capabilities to provide customers with contextualised real-time translations and create an AI chatbot so Grab users can engage in interactive experiences.
Grab also plans to explore computer vision technologies that will improve the user and driver pickup experience alongside improving map creation and quality with Microsoft’s machine learning capabilities.
Grab will provide on-demand transportation booking options to Outlook users so they can seamlessly book rides directly in the application, and pilot Microsoft’s Kaizala, a mobile app and service for large group communications and work management, to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Grab’s Customer Service teams.
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