Microsoft Is Investing In Grab & Bringing Facial Recognition Tech To The Ride-Hailing App

The tech giant is also investing an undisclosed amount in the ride-hailing company.

Cover image via Reuters / Grab

Tech giant Microsoft has announced that it will be investing an undisclosed sum into ride-hailing company Grab, paving the way for both companies to collaborate on technology projects like big data and artificial intelligence (AI)

Image via Mirror Review

As part of the five-year partnership, Grab will be working with the software company to explore new ways of verifying passengers and drivers using facial recognition technology with built-in AI

Image via Reuters

Grab will be looking into using mobile facial recognition, image recognition, and computer vision technologies to improve the pick-up experience for passengers, such as enabling passengers to take a photo of their current location and having it translated into an actual address for the driver

Grab will also be adopting a number of Microsoft products into its services, including using the Azure cloud computing service for data analytics and fraud detection. Passengers may also be able to book rides through Microsoft Outlook in the near future.

Grab has raised USD2 billion worth of funds from Toyota and institutional investors this year alone

Image via Grab

According the Grab president Ming Maa, the company hopes to raise about USD3 billion in funds by the end of year. 

CNBC noted that the ride-hailing company is also backed by prominent companies such as Japanese conglomerate SoftBank and Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing. 

Since acquiring former rival Uber's operations in Southeast Asia in March, Grab has also begun to expand it services beyond ride-hailing into other consumer technology sectors

Image via TODAY Online

In the past year, Grab has ventured into healthcare, food delivery (GrabFood), and mobile payments (GrabPay) in a bid to compete with Indonesian rival Go-Jek - which has backing from Google and Tencent - for dominant position in the region.

In efforts to improve the user experience, Grab is clamping down on drivers who cancel rides in Singapore and Philippines:

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