Grab Launches First-Ever AI for Southeast Asia Challenge

May 24, 20199:43 am1382 views

Grab, the leading ride-sharing app in Southeast Asia, has kickstarted its first-ever AI for S.E.A  challenge.

A strategic initiative by Grab, the challenge aims to promote the use of data and AI to solve for some of Southeast Asia’s biggest urban challenges, such as traffic congestion and safety. The top 50 participants will be offered a full-time position at Grab, as well as cash prizes for the top five individuals. The overall winner of the challenge will walk away with S$10,000.

“At Grab we believe in building tech for good. We have one of the largest datasets in the region, which, combined with AI, can help make cities smarter, better and safer.  With AI for S.E.A, we want to encourage like-minded individuals to join us on this mission to drive Southeast Asia forward. They’ll have the chance to work with and learn from our world-class data science and AI team, to co-create AI solutions for social good,” said Wui Ngiap Foo, Head of AI Initiatives, Grab.

The three challenge themes are:

  • Traffic Management: Traffic congestion in Southeast Asian cities are some of the worst in the world, which impacts mobility and economic growth. Using Grab’s data, build an AI model to alleviate traffic congestion on Southeast Asia’s roads.
  • Computer Vision: By making ride-hailing more efficient, passengers can find their ride quicker, and drivers can earn more. Build a data model that can optimise and automate the process of identifying vehicle details such as make and model.
  • Safety: Southeast Asia contributes to 25 percent of total global road traffic deaths. How can AI proactively identify dangerous or reckless driving in real-time to prevent accidents from happening?

“We believe that AI can unlock new ways to change the lives of millions of Southeast Asians for the better. That’s why we are investing heavily into our data science, machine learning and AI capabilities. Today we have one of the largest AI and data science teams in the region, with 250 employees and still rapidly growing. We want to help build a deeper and wider AI talent pool in Southeast Asia, and we hope that with initiatives like AI for S.E.A, we can help encourage more people to pursue a career in this field. We’re heartened to see the strong interest we’ve received so far, from 1500 applicants within just one week from across Southeast Asia and even from as far away as the United States and United Arab Emirates,” added Wui Ngiap.

Grab will be holding AI for S.E.A roadshows in Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Singapore, where interested participants can learn more about the challenge, Grab’s AI team and efforts, and have their questions answered by employees.

How to join?

Interested individuals can visit the official website to learn more about the challenge themes and download corresponding datasets. The deadline for submission is 17 June, and shortlisted candidates will be informed on the week of 24 June.

A Demo Day for finalists to present their solutions will happen on the week of 2 July, where winners will be announced on the same day.

For more information, visit or contact Lien Xiu Wen / Jaclyn Phan at

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)