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Grab launches in-house mapping and location service

SUPER app Grab on Wednesday launched its in-house mapping and location service called GrabMaps, which is set to fully power the Singapore-based company by Q3 2022.

Categorized under enterprise business and new company initiatives, GrabMaps will also be offered to enterprises as a business-to-business (B2B) offering, enabling Grab to tap into the billion-dollar market opportunity in Asia. Southeast (SEA).

Grab co-founder Tan Hooi Ling pointed out that SEA cities have alleys and side streets that don’t appear on conventional maps, but are traveled daily by its drivers and delivery partners.

“We have invested to turn this intelligence into a competitive advantage, allowing us to serve our users and partners with great experience, while driving efficiency and cost savings for the business,” he said in a press release on the hyperlocal. the solution.

GrabMaps is built on the principles of community mapping and draws data from orders and trips served daily, with real-time feedback from drivers and delivery partners on changes such as road closures and business addresses.

By providing data such as street images and traffic signs to maps, drivers and delivery partners also earn additional revenue.

The technology is also a way to improve the experience of micro-entrepreneurs in the platform, according to Grab Philippines.

“By helping delivery partners locate merchants faster, they can deliver hotter, fresher food to customers,” the company said in an email.

“Grab has always sought to create innovative technology that meets the hyperlocal needs of Southeast Asia and GrabMaps is a great example of that,” added Tan.

As a B2B solution, GrabMaps offers businesses the following:

• Basic Mapping Data: The choice to license location data, roads, and high-resolution street-level imagery. Grab expects to hit 37 million of its more than 33 million points of interest right now.

• Map Authoring Tools and Software as a Service: An end-to-end stack that customers can leverage to create their own maps. Grab is working on a next-gen camera that incorporates 360-degree imaging capabilities.

Its current mapping camera, Kartacam, is piloted by partner companies in Paris, Johannesburg, Dubai and Seattle.

• Application Programming Interface (API) and Mobile Software Development Kits (SDK): To be released later in 2022 and 2023, respectively, these will allow teams to leverage GrabMaps technology to improve or create their own location-based apps and capabilities.

According to a comparative study of GrabMaps against a third-party mapping provider, the former’s error rate was four times lower and its latency (or how quickly the system responds) 10 times lower. The company’s data also shows that – for countries that have fully transitioned to GrabMaps – the ease of finding the right point of interest for transport bookings has improved by three percentage points. Additionally, the accuracy of estimated travel time improved by 1 to 7.8 percentage points.

GrabMaps powers over 800 billion API calls per month. — Patricia B. Mirasol