Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab partnered with mapping provider HERE Technologies to help improve traffic management in Yangon, Myanmar.
The partnership marks the second phase of Grab’s expansion to Myanmar, a country the company entered in March.
Using GPS data collected from driver apps, the companies will be able to maintain an accurate mapping database to enable efficient navigation and future city planning.
The companies will also identify, and regularly update, suitable pick-up and drop-off points at various malls, office buildings, and transit hubs so that drivers and passengers can locate one another easily and without causing unnecessary congestion.
In August, Grab plans to introduce GrabVenue terminals in Junction City that will make it easier for mall visitors to book Grab services. It also will launch a 24/7 call centre for customers.
Following a four-month beta trial, Grab claimed to have secured “more than” 5,000 drivers who reported to have experienced 30 per cent improvement in monthly income on average.
The operation is now run by more than 40 employees in its office in Yangon, the only city in the country where Grab operates.
Based on feedback gathered during the beta trial, Grab also introduced new features and benefits for its driver-partners, such as a localised driver and passenger app that allows the fonts Zawgyi and Unicode.
Its in-app messaging feature GrabChat will also be upgraded to allow automatic translation of templated messages; the company has also included an emergency button that enables users to call the police without leaving the app.
Driver-partners are also receiving benefits such as discounts, insurance plan, and English training (for selected drivers). They are also given access to banking and financial services through Grab’s partnership with CB Bank and Wave Money.
“We are deeply appreciative of the opportunity to bring Grab’s service to Yangon and are encouraged by the receptiveness of the local community and the support from the government over the past four months. We’ve seen positive and meaningful results including improvements to driver-partners’ incomes, taxi standards and transport efficiency,” said Grab co-founder Hooi Ling Tan in a press statement.
“We are investing in Myanmar for the long-term,” Tan added.
In the market, apart from Uber, Grab is also competing with local player HelloCabs, which had recently raised a “seven-digit” investment from the founder of iMyanmar Group.
Indonesian ride-hailing unicorn Go-Jek has also been reported to be eyeing Myanmar for its debut in a non-Indonesian regional market.
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