Grab and MDEC tie-up to better manage KL's traffic situation using AI

Grab has partnered with Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) for the development of the Malaysia City Brain initiative in Kuala Lumpur, which will feature an MDEC-led smart city traffic management system.

The system will leverage big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing to help the city better manage its urban transportation needs. Using cloud computing and AI, the Malaysia City Brain initiative is expected to be able to identify potential traffic challenges and develop better predictive modelling of the city's traffic in real time.

This move is part of Grab's ongoing public-private collaboration to help move Malaysia forward with more efficient mobility solutions. It previously collaborated with the Malaysia SEA Games Organising Committee as the ride-hailing partner of the 2017 SEA Games. A+M has reached out to Grab for additional details.

Grab's real-time, anonymised traffic data will include traffic speeds and travel times for popular Kuala Lumpur routes. This will be coupled with existing traffic sources such as video feeds from CCTV cameras and traffic lights; as well as social media feeds and traffic information from local traffic agencies and government sources. The information obtained will enable city planners to have a more comprehensive view of conditions on the roads.

Sean Goh, country head of Grab Malaysia, said by working with strategic partners such as MDEC and the government of Malaysia, Grab can offer the Malaysia City Brain effort its expertise, along with the anonymised data generated daily by its drivers. Goh said this will help provide urban planners and traffic managers greater success in resolving key transportation issues, enhance emergency services response times, and reduce congestion.

"It also allows better insights in addressing the growing transportation demands and urban transport planning of one of the digitally-enabled capital cities in Southeast Asia,” he added.

Karl Ng, director of Data Economy at MDEC described the Malaysia City Brain as a "high-impact initiative" to catalyse Malaysia's AI ecosystem. He added that the initiative is "vitally dependent" on the richness and variety of its data sources.

“No two cities are the same, and the sharing of such data resources by Grab will also help our city planners to better understand the unique transportation needs of each city and neighbourhood. This will helping us to better deal with using the roads more effectively in real time, and it will gradually help us to improve our daily Quality of Life Index," Ng said.

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