Philippines: Grab, World Bank debut ‘OpenTraffic platform’ in SE Asia

From left are, Grab Philippines country head Yee Wee Tang, DOTC's undersecretary of planning Rene Limcaoco, and World Bank Philippines' program leader for sustainable development Victor Cuttaree.

Ride-hailing platform Grab together with the World Bank premiered in the Philippines the smart data platform called OpenTraffic, which provides free-of-cost GPS information for better analysis of travel speeds and journey times.

Grab and World Bank both collaborated with the Philippines’ Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) in launching OpenTraffic in Manila. The data platform will soon be made available to other Southeast Asian city governments soon.

OpenTraffic is seen to enable city governments to reduce traffic congestion and enhance road safety. The initial targets are Metro Manila and Cebu City.

The collaboration agreement was signed by Grab Philippines country head Yee Wee Tang, DOTC’s undersecretary of planning Rene Limcaoco, and World Bank Philippines’ program leader for sustainable development Victor Cuttaree.

“Using big data is one of the potential solutions to the challenges faced by our transport systems,” said DOTC secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.

Also Read: Philippines transport board puts brakes on GrabJeep, tags it ‘illegal’

Poch Ceballos, head of GrabTaxi, Grab Philippines, said they share a common objective with the World Bank and DOTC of using big data to make critical decisions about traffic and infrastructure management.

“With Grab’s network of drivers travelling across Philippine cities every day, there is a rich real-time GPS data set now readily available to DOTC as our public service,” Ceballos said.

Grab continues to be the top ride-hailing platform in Southeast Asia and operates in 30 cities across six countries, namely Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Both Grab and the World Bank have been developing free, open-source tools that translate Grab’s voluminous driver GPS data into anonymized traffic statistics, including speeds, flows, and intersection delays. These statistics power big data open source tools such as OpenTraffic, for analysing traffic speeds and flows, and the DRIVER application or “Data for Road Incident Visualization, Evaluation, and Reporting,” designed for identifying road incident black spots and improving emergency response timing.

Also Read: GrabBike suspends services in Philippines. Refutes authorities claim its operations are ‘illegal’

In the near future, traffic statistics derived through OpenTraffic will be fed into DRIVER for road incident recording and analysis. This application, developed by the World Bank, will help engineering units to prioritize crash-prone areas for interventions and improve emergency response.

In addition to World Bank support, grant funding for the development of the OpenTraffic and DRIVER open source platforms has been provided by the Korean Green Growth Trust Fund. This fund helps World Bank Group client countries with knowledge to plan and implement green growth strategies, initiatives, and investments.

Only recently, the World Bank and DOTC helped train more than 200 government staff from the agency, the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and the Cebu City Transportation Office on the use of the OpenTraffic platform.

Also Read:

Philippines: GrabCar’s bike service hits a speed breaker as Transport Board halts ops

Philippines becomes first country to legalise ridesharing services; SG passes Bill to regulate third-party taxi apps

Malaysia’s GrabTaxi kicks off courier biz in Philippines

GrabTaxi invests $6m in safety features, to be rolled out regionally

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.