Ride-hailing apps mobilising Southeast Asia's smart cities

Singapore and Grab’s cooperation offers a model for the development of smart cities across Southeast Asia: good and bad.

In an industrial area of Singapore middle-aged men are queuing up to become drivers for Grab, the six year-old ride-hailing start-up that has grown into Southeast Asia’s largest mobility company by number of drivers. After a quick induction on how to use the smartphone app the men span out and join the gig economy.

Widespread smartphone adoption across Southeast Asia has given a fillip to the development of smarter cities. City dwellers can plan routes to work by checking live transport timetables and use hailing apps while on the move. Meanwhile, governments and companies receive a trove of data that enables them to identify and smooth out congestion hotspots faster....

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