What is GrabChat?
GrabChat is Grab’s own messaging platform that will enable the driver and passenger to communicate with each other using instant messaging.
While the feature inevitably offers basic functions similar to other chat apps, GrabChat has several key differentiations in safety and privacy:
“We understand drivers are busy behind the wheel and shouldn’t be texting. Therefore GrabChat offers common templated messages such as ‘I’m 2 minutes away’ that can be triggered with a single tap. Additionally, all chat sessions will be closed once the passenger leaves the vehicle. Safety and privacy is a top priority in all our products, and GrabChat is no different.”
Da Huang, Engineer
Benefits of GrabChat
Seamless passenger-driver communications: GrabChat allows passengers and drivers to send quick notes to each other, especially during pick-ups.
Safety: Driving while using phone contributes 8% of all injuries in distraction-related crashes across the world. GrabChat aims to minimise driver distraction from the smartphone with one-touch templated messages.
Privacy: The chatroom and conversation history is dissolved once the journey is completed.
Reduced cost: No more SMS! Both drivers and passengers stand to reduce their mobile costs when they use GrabChat. Especially drivers who may be reluctant to contact passenger with foreign numbers due to hefty international call charges.
When will it be launched?
The first trial for GrabChat is scheduled for June – July 2016 in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, and will feature text-based messaging only.