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Grab partners with Ministry of Transport to implement facial recognition technology in Malaysia

  • Advanced facial recognition technology helps identify passengers conveniently, improve safeguards against crimes
  • It is part of Grab’s long term safety technology roadmap to introduce features and initiatives that reduce preventable on-road incidents on the platform to zero
  • #SaferEveryday is Grab’s commitment to set a high bar for transportation safety standards in Southeast Asia, comprising tech product enhancements to eliminate preventable incidents, encourage safer user habits, and drive long-term changes in road behaviour

PETALING JAYA, 11 APRIL 2019 – Grab, the leading super app in Southeast Asia, today announced its unique Passenger Verification feature that enables  users to verify their identity on Grab’s app via a live selfie option. This is part of Grab’s long-term safety commitment, in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport in Malaysia, to set a high bar for transportation safety standards and bring preventable incidents on its platform down to zero through technology innovations. Since its initial roll out early this year, this feature has served as a strong deterrence against crimes. Passenger-related crimes on our platform have declined by 30% as a result of it being launched as a requirement for all new users, giving our driver-partners greater peace of mind.

New passengers to the Grab platform will be required to take a selfie of themselves via the app as a form of identification. The advanced facial recognition technology now built into Grab’s app, ensures that the picture taken is an actual ‘live’ human face; and it is also able to detect and reject inappropriate photos.

“Malaysia is setting the pace for the region in many ways. Through public-private collaboration, we are working together to find innovative ways to harness technology for social good. Technology is a great enabler, it changes the way we get around and now with the support and commitment from Grab, we are seeing the safety bar being raised to roll out new, innovative solutions powered by technology that will make transportation in Malaysia safer everyday,” said Anthony Loke, Minister of Transport Malaysia.

Passengers can be assured that their selfie will only be used for one-time verification purposes, and like all personal data on Grab, is securely protected under Malaysia’s Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). The selfie will not be displayed as a profile picture or shared with any external party, including drivers and merchants. This seamless enhanced verification process will be rolled out to all passengers in phases over the rest of the year as it is built to improve safeguards against crimes.

As Grab continues to elevate transportation safety standards in Southeast Asia’s e-hailing space, the on-going support from the Ministry of Transport is invaluable in helping Grab to continue using its technology for good. By partnering with the Ministry of Transportation to address local safety priorities, Grab is able to play a more significant role in creating a safer Malaysia by reducing the number of preventable on-road incidents on the platform; protecting Malaysians who drive on the Grab platform as they strive to earn a living; and looking after millions of passengers who use Grab everyday.

“This partnership with the Ministry of Transport is an extension of our efforts across Southeast Asia to work with governments on safety priorities that help improve the lives of citizens. We are committed to investing in safety for all – from our driver-partners, to our passengers, and to the wider community which we are part of. We are honoured that the Malaysian Government, and the Minister himself, have been very open to innovation and supportive in working with us to support our common goal of strengthening the overall safety standards in the transportation industry. We hope that by taking the lead in this collective effort with the government, the whole public transportation industry will step up to create a safer Malaysia together, for the benefit of all Malaysians,” said Sean Goh, Country Head of Grab Malaysia.

“Our experience has been that bad actors who are looking to engage in criminal activities would do so within the first four usage of the Grab app once they sign up. With our enhanced Passenger Verification feature, we have seen an almost immediate reduction in passenger-related crimes on the platform. We are confident that, with the combination of our technology and collaborative efforts with the authorities, it will continue to serve as a strong deterrent against crimes and help keep our driver-partners safe,” added Goh.

Grab’s safety tech roadmap aims to achieve zero preventable incidents on the platform. Since its founding, Grab has been the pioneer of many online and offline safety preventive features and initiatives such as Share My Ride, Emergency SOS button, number masking, telematics, Personal Accident Insurance and stringent driver background checks, which has not only given users greater peace of mind, but also reduced incident rates on the platform significantly. This year, Grab will continue to double down on more advanced technology to improve driving safety, reduce crime and violence, and prevent behavioural incidents. .

“Safety has always been a priority for Malaysia as it is a major concern for Malaysians both on and off the roads. I am pleased to say that Grab has always been focused on solving this challenge from the very beginning as we work together to find the best solutions for the safety of Malaysians who depend on e-hailing services everyday. We are glad that Grab has put safety at the core of their operations, and are confident that we will be able to bring the number of preventable incidents down to zero” added Loke.

This collaboration between Grab and a Government ministry in Malaysia is a hallmark of the company and displays how it approaches responsible corporate citizenship across the region. Grab has been working closely with local governments in every country where it operates to address national safety concerns. This includes providing a safe, secure and convenient way for consumers to go about their daily lives, be it to get to where they need to on a day-to-day basis, to pay for their meals using GrabPay, order food through GrabFood or deliver parcel through GrabExpress.

For more information on Grab’s safety commitment and goals, log on to


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