Grab is opening its seventh research and development (R&D) center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The company’s latest facility joins its existing R&D centers in Bangalore, Beijing, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Seattle, and Singapore.
The Kuala Lumpur facility will focus on enhancing real-time communications features and building new web products. Grab is exploring new safety measures through machine learning and artificial intelligence including a “driver fatigue” feature.
The Kuala Lumpur centre underlines Grab’s commitment to nurturing deep tech talent in its home region. Grab plans to hire 100 tech employees for its Kuala Lumpur R&D centre in its first year of operations, including software engineers, data scientists and data analysts. The team will focus on developing and enhancing real-time communications features such as VOIP calls via GrabChat, building new and exciting web products for Grab, and improving and developing new safety measures through machine learning.
One example of how Grab uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to enhance safety is its Driver Fatigue feature, that calculates a “fatigue score” based on factors like how long the driver has been on the road, time of day, rest between shifts and even his or her age and profile. When a driver hits a high fatigue threshold, they will be sent a notification to take a break.
Ditesh Gathani, Head of Engineering, Grab, says “A lot of tech companies decide where to build an R&D centre based on the talent pool already available there. For Grab, we look at where we see potential to grow the talent pool. By setting up an R&D centre in Malaysia, we want to play a part in developing deep tech talent in the country, particularly in areas like machine learning. We also hope that through Grab, Malaysia’s top tech talent will have the opportunity to put their skills to bear against solving complex, real-world issues right here at home. At the same time have the chance to work with and learn from some of the best tech minds in the world.”