Grab to expand safety features for drivers

The feature will allow Grab drivers to know the digital identity of their future passengers

by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / pic by ISMAIL CHE RUS

E-HAILING service provider Grab Malaysia is expected to roll out a new safety feature for its drivers in the near future.

Its country head Sean Goh said the feature will allow the drivers to know the digital identity of their future passengers to avoid potential criminals.

Digital identity is the body of information about an individual, organisation or electronic device that exists online.

“This feature will hopefully deter the drivers from picking up those who are targeting them…we will announce (the plan to introduce the feature) really soon,” he said at the launch of Grab’s Safety Commitment and National Urgent Response (NUR) Alert System programme in Petaling Jaya last Friday.

Goh added that the company is looking for various ways to ensure its drivers feel safer via technology following a rise in the number of both special needs and women drivers in its database.

“When the drivers are on the road, their No 1 concern is that (whether) they will be targeted by criminals. So, the first thing we tried to do was to encourage the use of dashboard cameras for our women drivers by giving free in-car dash cams to 3,500 selected top performing drivers,” he said.

However, Goh said the move was insufficient as the cameras might end up getting stolen.

“So, we started looking at more ways to exercise digital safety. For example, our users will have to register their details so that we know who they are, and we can work with the PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police),” he said.

Earlier at the event, Grab Malaysia and PDRM announced that the ride-hailing mobile app’s drivers in 35 cities and major townships nationwide will begin to receive time-sensitive and critical NUR alerts.

Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh said having enlisted Grab into the NUR Alert System partnership would help the drivers in locating missing children.

“When we send out notifications or NUR alerts to our government agencies, they have to get to the area where the child was last seen.

“However, if you (drivers) get a notification where the child was last seen and I’m certain that there will be Grab drivers in that vicinity, this means the response would be almost immediate,” she said.

Launched in 2007, the NUR Alert system is a national initiative to disseminate information on missing children to social media users. It would cover crucial information on the missing child such as photo, location where he/she was last spotted and other details that could facilitate the search process.

To date, the NUR alert system has been used in 37 cases, with 29 of the children were reportedly found, while eight others are still missing.