Open Traffic data to improve Malaysia’s traffic woes

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KUALA LUMPUR: A pilot study conducted in the Philippines, may pave the way for enhanced town planning in congested areas around cities in Malaysia too.

This was revealed in a joint press conference by ride-sharing company Grab and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDeC) together with the World Bank Group here today.

Based on a successful pilot study done on road traffic in Metro Manila, Manila’s EDSA highway and in Cebu City, improvements were made without the need for additional infrastructure investments and in some cases, lowered transport costs for commuters.

The study funded by the World Bank, which started in April last year and is ongoing, saw Open Traffic, a smart data platform using Grab’s GPS data to enable analysis of travel speeds and journey times.

According to Grab, Open Traffic is expected to deliver the same success rate in improving traffic woes in Malaysia as well.

“The Open Traffic platform will improve Malaysia’s traffic congestion, improve emergency response and enhance town planning in congested areas.

“The platform which provides traffic data from Grab’s GPS data streams will assist in easing congestion during peak hour traffic particularly within dense urban areas,” said Grab Malaysia country head Sean Goh.

Goh said that it will manage the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency responses for accidents as well.

“When a traffic accident happens, the quick response by traffic enforcers, police, and hospitals is most crucial to the lives of those involved in the crash.

“With this Open Traffic platform, it will assist the authorities to take its first steps towards optimising emergency response for road accidents.”

Grab’s head of government affairs, Amri Sham said that Open Traffic will help the government exercise more efficiency in town planning in regard to traffic congested areas.

“For example, if there’s a bus stop located at roads which are deemed to be congested, this data will be collected by our Grab drivers, and local government agencies will have access to such data that will help them in terms of town planning,” he said, after the launch of the Open Traffic partnership between Grab and MDeC today.

Amri added that Grab was currently working closely with the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) to enhance town planning in congested areas.