The partnership to transform the delivery of digital services with AI and big data
Tech giant Microsoft announced to invest an undisclosed sum into Singapore-based ride-hailing company Grab, as part of a strategic partnership. Grab has its operations in 235 cities across eight Southeast Asian countries, and the company claims its digital wallet, GrabPay, is the leading player in Southeast Asia.
Plan for the collaboration
The first step is to adopt Microsoft’s Azure servers as the cloud platform backing Grab’s ride-hailing and digital wallet. After that, the plan seems to enhance, as it anticipates using machine learning and image recognition to let passengers share their location with a driver by taking a picture of their surroundings that the system recognizes and converts into an address. Moreover, the technology could handle recommendations, improve fraud detection, improve its maps or power facial recognition to identify drivers and passengers.
There are also non-AI powered parts of the arrangement, like in-car entertainment systems, linked rewards programs and integration with Outlook.
Collaboration in big data and AI
The two companies will collaborate on technology projects in areas of big data and artificial intelligence, while Grab will now use a number of Microsoft products, including the Azure cloud computing service, according to a joint statement.
Ming Maa, President, Grab, said, “This partnership signals a deep collaboration with Microsoft on an array of technology projects, including big data and artificial intelligence, that will transform the delivery of everyday services and mobility solutions in Southeast Asia.”
Microsoft and Grab to revolutionize the customer experience
Peggy Johnson, Executive VP, Microsoft, stated, “Our partnership with Grab opens up new opportunities to innovate in both a rapidly evolving industry and growth region.” He added, “We’re excited to team up to transform the customer experience as well as enhance the delivery of digital services for the millions of users who rely on Grab for safe and affordable transport, food and package delivery, mobile payments, and financial services.”
Microsoft and Grab declined gave not disclosed the amount of the strategic investment, reportedly, the sum was about $200 million, while both companies denied that figure.