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TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Grab and NUS open $6m AI lab

They will utilise Grab data to solve mobility issues in Southeast Asia.

Grab and the National University of Singapore (NUS) launched a $6m artificial intelligence (AI) laboratory to develop urban transportation and step up initiatives for smart cities in Southeast Asia, an announcement revealed.

Anchored at the NUS Institute of Data Science, the Grab-NUS AI Lab will utilise data from Grab platform to solve complex, real-world challenges in Southeast Asia. With 2 billion rides facilitated, Grab’s data is expected to give deeper insights into mobility across the region. 

“For example, our data shows that travel time from Newton to Tanjong Pagar can be drastically improved today,” Grab co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan explained. “If this route would be better served by more shared transport solutions, such as buses, trains, GrabShuttle, GrabShare or GrabHitch, we could bring travel time during peak hour down by 1/3rd or from 40 to 28 minutes.”

The project targets to expand research on congestion and liveability of cities.

Tan said that he is looking forward to working with the government to bring research from the AI lab into fruition.

The laboratory will also focus on developing algorithms to serve passenger based on their own insights and preferences and to match drivers to the jobs they prefer and improve driving safety through better understanding of driver behaviour.

In addition, their target to develop algorithms also seeks to fetect traffic events and anomalies in real-time and to upgrade precision and accuracy in mapping pick-up points.

The AI Lab will also contribute to local AI talent development through the training of PhD students that will be enrolled at NUS.

The Grab-NUS AI Lab is located in the innovation 4.0 building on the NUS Kent Ridge campus. The project is Grab’s first major AI laboratory and NUS’ first AI laboratory with a commercial partner.

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