• World Bank teams up with Grab to start pilot program
  • Plans to expand the program throughout Southeast Asia

GrabTaxi Holdings Pte, Southeast Asia’s largest ride-hailing company with operations in 30 cities, said it is working with the World Bank to start providing free, real-time traffic data to the Philippine government to help ease perennial congestion in the country’s cities.

Under the pilot program, data gathered by Grab drivers will be used to analyze and visualize traffic information so that government agencies can better manage the flow of vehicles on the streets of Metro Manila and Cebu City, Grab said in a joint statement with the World Bank and the Philippines’ Department of Transportation and Communications on Tuesday.

Southeast Asia is a key battleground for car-booking companies such as Grab and Uber Technologies Inc. because it is home to 620 million people, where an increasing number of people live in large cities and face rush-hour traffic jams.

"Using big data is one of the potential solutions to the challenges faced by our transport systems," Joseph Emiliio Abaya, Transportation Secretary of the Philippines, said in the statement.

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