MDEC collaborates with Grab to beat KL traffic

  • TECH
  • Friday, 13 Apr 2018

MDEC and Grab are collaborating to outsmart Klang Valley's traffic gridlock.

Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has formalised its collaboration with ride-hailing service Grab to use its real-time, anonymised traffic data to manage KL traffic. 

MDEC Data Economy director Dr Karl Ng Kah Hou said Grab's contribution to the Malaysia City Brain initiative is invaluable as the Artificial Intelligence (AI) ecosystem is vitally dependent on the richness and variety of its data sources. 

“No two cities are the same, and the sharing of such data resources by Grab will also help our city planners to better understand the unique transportation needs of each city and neighbourhood,” he said, during the formalisation of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations, today.

The initiative aims to create a smart city traffic management system, which uses big data, artificial intelligence and cloud computing to help the fast growing city better manage its urban transportation needs. 

Grab Malaysia country head Sean Goh said by working with strategic partners like MDEC and the Government, Grab can offer the Malaysia City Brain effort their expertise from across the region, along with the vast anonymised data generated daily by Grab drivers. 

“Grab’s core mission is to help provide safe, efficient, convenient and affordable mobility solutions to cities in like Kuala Lumpur,” he said.

Goh said the initiative will help provide urban planners and traffic managers greater success in resolving key transportation issues, enhancing emergency services response times, and reducing congestion.

He added that it also allows better insights in addressing Kuala Lumpur's growing transportation demands and urban transport planning.

The real-time, anonymised traffic data provided by Grab will include traffic speeds and travel times for popular Kuala Lumpur routes. 

This will be coupled with traffic sources including City Hall's video feeds from 500 CCTV cameras and 300 traffic lights, social media feeds and traffic information from local traffic agencies and Government sources. 

When processed using cloud computing and AI-based technologies, it is expected that the Malaysia City Brain will be able to identify potential traffic challenges, develop better predictive modelling, and more efficiently manage city traffic in real time.

The World Bank’s 2015 Malaysia’s Economic Monitor report estimates that about five million people get stuck in the Klang Valley traffic every day, spending 250 million hours a year stuck in traffic at the cost of 1.1% to 2.2% of country's GDP in 2014.
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