Grab and National University of Singapore Launch AI Lab To Improve Mobility

Grab – an online-to-offline mobile platform in Southeast Asia – and the National University of Singapore (NUS) have partnered to launch an artificial intelligence laboratory, together investing SG$6 million (~$4,400,000 US). Located at the NUS Institute of Data Science, the Grab-NUS AI Lab will leverage data from the Grab platform to solve complex, real-world challenges in Southeast Asia. It plans to map traffic patterns and identify ways to directly impact the mobility and liveability of cities across Southeast Asia.

The new lab will combine Grab’s data with NUS’ research expertise in the field of AI and will be operated under the supervision of senior Grab research scientists and NUS faculty members. Researchers will create an AI platform for large-scale machine learning and visual analytics that can develop new applications from Grab’s data set.

The four areas that the Grab-NUS AI Lab will focus on are:

  • Passenger AI: the lab will gather insights to identify passengers’ needs, intentions and preferences to better serve them with more personalized services;
  • Driver AI: drivers will be matched to the jobs they prefer;
  • Traffic AI: the lab will be able to detect traffic events and anomalies in real-time and improve urban traffic flow; and,
  • Location AI: the precision and accuracy in mapping pick-up points and localizing moving vehicles on the Grab app will be improved.

The Grab-NUS AI Lab also plans to local AI talent development through the training of PhD students that will be enrolled at the university. Supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board, the PhD training program will allow students to build the relevant skills, and apply them to real world challenges through the Grab platform.

NUS president professor Tan Eng Chye said  “Over time, we hope to build a healthy pipeline of well-trained and experienced data scientists and AI researchers for Singapore and beyond.”