New Toyota and Grab collaboration to expand ridesharing and MaaS in Southeast Asia

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Toyota has concluded an agreement with Singapore-based ridesharing company Grab Holdings Inc. to strengthen their existing partnership and expand their collaboration in Southeast Asia to advance Mobility as a Service (MaaS) operations across the region.

As part of this agreement, Toyota will invest US$1bn in Grab. To accelerate decision making, one Toyota executive will also be appointed to Grab’s board of directors and a dedicated Toyota team member will be seconded to Grab as an executive officer, with Toyota considering more personnel exchanges in the future. Grab operates online-to-offline mobile platforms in transportation, food and package delivery, mobile payments and financial services in 217 cities in eight Southeast Asian countries. In March this year, it acquired Uber Technologies’ Southeast Asian assets, and is now the partner of choice for ride-hailing in the region.

Since August 2017, the two companies have been developing connected services for Grab using driving data collected by Toyota’s TransLog data-transmission driving recorder. The recorder, developed by Toyota for corporate fleets, has been installed in 100 Grab rental cars. The data collected is stored on Toyota’s proprietary Mobility Services Platform (MSPF), which serves as a form of information infrastructure for connected vehicles. Both companies have already begun collaboration in the field of connected vehicles by, for example, providing driving-data-based automotive insurance for Grab’s rental fleet in Singapore through local insurance companies.

Toyota and Grab’s initial success led them to expand their collaboration, and the expansion is aimed at achieving connectivity for Grab’s entire rental car fleet across Southeast Asia, and at rolling out various connected services throughout the region that use vehicle data stored on Toyota’s MSPF. In addition, collaborations in driving-data-based automotive insurance, financial services for Grab drivers, and maintenance services, are also contemplated under the new partnership. Through this new agreement, the companies plan to shift into full-scale implementation of services they have been developing for Asian customers, and will look for future collaborations aimed to achieve more-efficient ride-hailing businesses, and for developing future mobility service solutions and MaaS vehicles.

“We are thrilled to have Toyota on board as a long-term, strategic partner. Toyota is an incredible company that has done so much for the world. This strong partnership will enable us to become the one-stop mobility platform in Southeast Asia,” explained Anthony Tan, co-founder and CEO of Grab. “We look forward to executing the same vision of the future. A future that will provide for safer and more affordable rides, more liveable cities, and millions of new micro-businesses in the digital revolution. We will continue to work with global leaders like Toyota in bringing this vision to pass.”

Shigeki Tomoyama, Toyota executive vice president and president of its in-house Connected Company, said, “I am delighted that we are strengthening our collaboration, which utilizes our connected technologies, with Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing company. Going forward, together with Grab, we will develop services that are more attractive, safe and secure for our customers in Southeast Asia.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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