Microsoft to collaborate with Grab for big data & mobility solutions

Kareem Anderson

Microsoft is adding another partner in its ambitious cloud growth trajectory with leading Southeast Asian on-demand transportation, mobile payment, and hybrid services platform, Grab.

According to a post on the Microsoft Stories blog, Microsoft and Grab have agreed to a five-year partnership to use Azure as the services platform cloud solution along with Microsoft’s other productivity options.

Through this partnership, Grab will adopt Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform, tapping into Microsoft’s intelligent cloud and AI capabilities to scale Grab’s platform efficiently and increase its capacity and capabilities. Through this collaboration, the companies will explore a number of innovative deep technology projects that will enhance and transform the Grab experience for Grab’s users, driver-partners, merchants and agents.

The partnership will also provide specific innovations for Grab that include new ways of processing big data, AI and machine learning.

  • To help improve passenger and driver safety and security, Grab will work with Microsoft to explore new authentication mechanisms such as mobile facial recognition with built-in AI for drivers and customers who opt in, as a replacement for checking IDs, that help match both driver and passenger identities to the reservation.
  • Grab will explore utilizing Microsoft Azure’s data analytics and fraud detection services to better predict and prevent fraudulent transactions on Grab’s platform.
  • The companies plan to leverage Microsoft’s natural language processing capabilities to provide customers with contextualized real-time translations and create an AI chatbot so Grab users can engage in interactive experiences.
  • Microsoft’s machine learning and AI capabilities will be used to power Grab’s advanced “recommendation engine” that analyzes user data and behavior to provide personalized services and content recommendations through the Grab application.
  • Grab also plans to work with Microsoft to explore image recognition and computer vision technologies that will improve the user and driver pickup experience. For example, passengers will be able to take a photo of their current location and have it translated into an actual address for the driver.

To improve map creation and quality, Grab plans to tap into the power of Microsoft’s machine learning capabilities.

In addition to new cloud processes, Grab will also be taking advantage of Microsoft’s wide breadth of productivity software suites. The collaborative Microsoft and Grab partnership will see the use of Outlook integration to book rides directly in the email software, Kaizala that will enable group communication and work management with Grab, and Microsoft Rewards Gift Cards for loyalty programs.