Covering Disruptive Technology Powering Business in The Digital Age

Home > DTA news > Open Data For Open Traffic Initiative Can Save Lives
Open Data For Open Traffic Initiative Can Save Lives
February 20, 2018 Grab MDEC open data World Bank


The Open Traffic initiative in Malaysia is an effort aimed at providing traffic data from Grab’s GPS data streams to address traffic congestion and improve road safety in major Malaysian cities. The initiative is a collaboration between GRAB, the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and the World Bank Group.

The World Bank and Grab signed the MOU to collaborate on an Open Traffic Platform for government agencies in Malaysia as only the second country in the world to have such a platform after the Philippines.

The Open Traffic platform is a graphical user interface to easily query and visualize stored traffic statistics for both travel time and speed, in a map using anonymised GPS data from Grab. It will enable traffic management officials access to relevant data that will enable them to monitor real and historic traffic data, thus allowing them to make decisions based on the evidence provided through the analysis, to alter or intervene at traffic light timings, public transit, infrastructure, emergency traffic routes and other traffic management demands.

Using Grab’s 400 thousand drivers, they will be able to use the data from their drivers to alert and give feedback on road conditions, traffic, weather and emergencies such as flooding or accidents. With the GPS trackers, they are also able to quantify travel times and hot spots for recurring congestions and find ways to overcome them.

According to Tan Kim Bock, Deputy Director for the Urban Transport Division, Civil Engineering and Urban Transport Department of Kuala Lumpur City Hall, he was happy to see the collaboration between MDEC, Grab and World Bank to address this issue and come to a solution, as the uses and advantages of this platform were many.

“We currently have 600 cameras throughout KL city to monitor traffic. We can’t always pick up on every vehicle breakdown. There are many times when we act on the call, the vehicle has already moved away once we arrive. This is due to the breakdown not being of a serious nature”, he said.

He added that if this platform is able to alert them in real time of the actual conditions on the ground, it will be very beneficial to the emergency agencies to respond quickly, thus giving emergency personnel a better chance at saving lives.