SOUTHEAST Asia’s leading ride hailing service with the largest network in Malaysia, Grab, has introduced new initiatives to enhance overall passenger and drivers’ road safety.
“Safety has always been a priority for Grab — it’s the foundation of how and why Grab came to be. Grab was born out of a mission to make transport safer across Southeast Asia and safety remains at the core of our business.
“In fact, according to a passenger poll conducted, 8 out of 10 women feel safer booking a ride with Grab than other transport option. However, we are aware that we are far from being perfect, and there is room for us to improve ourselves as we continue to grow, serve and transport more people across Malaysia,” said Grab Malaysia country head Sean Goh.
The company is introducing the following initiatives such as an “Emergency Button”, a one touch emergency button in the passenger app which connects passengers to the national emergency response service (MERS 999) in the event of an emergency. Grab will log all out-going calls via the emergency button to follow-up with passengers and the authorities.
Another initiative is known as Eagle-i CVR in-car dash cam. Grab is working with Eagle-i, the company’s official safety camera partner, to provide free Eagle-i CVR dash-cam to 3,500 top performing female and platinum drivers nationwide. The camera is able to record up to 90 minutes of footage with a 120∞ view in the vehicle, and will have a safety protective sticker to avoid tampering.
The memory card can be removed only by an authorised Grab personnel in the event of an incident or if a dispute occurs. Other drivers can purchase the camera via Eagle-i’s website at 70 per cent discount for a limited time offer only. Drivers who qualify to receive the cameras for free will receive communications from the company beginning in August for details to pick up the cameras.
Meanwhile, the last initiative Grab plans to introduce is the Telematics programme. It is a combination of machine learning and predictive analytics which identifies unsafe driving habits, such as speeding, swerving and hard braking or accelerating. It will educate drivers about ways to improve the driving experience.
Drivers will receive weekly summary of their driving performance for their reference and improvement. The programme, which was rolled out in Singapore in June, has received encouraging results to help improve road safety. The results shown that there were a reduction of 15 per cent in speeding, 11 per cent less instances of hard braking and 18 per cent less instances of sudden hard acceleration.
“We recognise that many Malaysians are using ride hailing services to get around and we are pleased that Grab responded to our request to include the ‘Emergency Button’ in their app. We appreciate their forward-thinking by going the extra mile to include other initiatives, such as in-car cameras for the safety and convenience of their passengers and drivers.
“We hope that with the introduction of the MERS 999 Emergency Button, passengers will use the function responsibly. Lastly, we look forward to see how their telematics can improve general road safety,” said Land Public Transport Commission chief executive officer Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah.
Meanwhile, Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said, “the government encourages e-hailing operators, such as Grab, to have continuous engagements with the regulators to achieve our vision of providing a safer and reliable land public transportation system in our country. Safety is a joint community effort and all parties involved must work closely to introduce a holistic set of safety measures in the best interest of the rakyat.”
Echoing on Nancy’s statement, Goh said, “We are excited to roll out these initiatives nationwide. They are testament of Grab’s continuous efforts to work with local authorities, passengers and our partners so we can keep raising the bar for passenger, driver and road safety, while contributing to the overall development of the transport industry and infrastructure.”