Ride-hailing company Grab Holdings Inc is rolling out new apps and services that could give it an edge over its competitors.
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While perhaps the biggest blow to rivals is the recent confirmation of a food delivery service launch (see related story), internal changes are also happening to address driver satisfaction.
Recent weeks have seen hundreds of tuk tuk drivers from rival PassApp Technologies Co Ltd protest over reduced fares in a bid to challenge Grab’s growing dominance in the market. In the meantime, Grab revised its fares lower while also announcing the launch of new features that improve efficiency and better income for drivers. Much like the rewards programs it offered customers, drivers can now also earn the same.
Grab says the key part of its mission is to use technology to create income opportunities for its driver partners while making ride-hailing more affordable to more Cambodians.
“We listen closely to our driver-partners to learn the unique challenges they face,” says country head Ronald Wong.
“The various features on our platform help our driver partners overcome their challenges and work more efficiently at a lower operating cost,” he adds
A new feature called “Pax No Show” automatically credits the driver with a minimum fee if a booked passenger does not show up within five minutes of the driver’s arrival.
“I’m glad the company offers this feature. Other companies don’t compensate us for the cancellation and also fine us if this happens,” says Ven Kiri, a Grab driver for seven months.
Another new feature is called “Back-to-Back Jobs” which allows drivers to accept a new ride near the current destination where they are taking a passenger.
“When I have almost arrived at the drop off destination, I can accept a new booking before dropping off my current passenger. If a passenger doesn’t show up at the pick-up location after five minutes I can cancel the booking and Grab will reimburse me 2,000 riel,” says driver Kry Seyha.
Grab’s ‘Heatmap’, another new addition, is a map visualisation tool that displays areas across the city with a high volume of ride-hailing activity so drivers can benefit from any surge in demand after a major sports event or concert, for example.
“As a regional technology company, we are constantly able to learn from our operations across the region to upgrade our app and make ride-hailing safe, secure, convenient for our passengers and driver-partners,” Wong says.