Uber’s main Southeast Asia rival GrabTaxi on Monday announced a few new features to its ridehailing app, including what it’s calling a ‘Flash’ button that automatically books “the nearest available Standard Taxi or GrabCar Economy” — kind of like a one-click check out on Amazon.
It says Flash is due to roll out to all users on iOS and Android by the first half of December.
“Flash works the same way as a usual booking, where passengers enter their pick-up point and destination,” the company said in a release. “However, instead of selecting the type of vehicle and booking either GrabTaxi or GrabCar, passengers who are indifferent to the vehicle type and who just want to nearest available ride can now click the ‘Flash’ button.”
Beyond Flash, GrabTaxi says it’s been rolling out other incremental updates recently. The new Passenger Hub allows users to “view and download GrabTaxi booking e-receipts on this one-stop online passenger portal.” And then there’s also business tags for rides.
“An additional feature to tag business rides within the GrabTaxi app is available for corporate accounts. The tagging will sync with Passenger Hub to allow passengers to download separate statements for their personal or business rides for claims submission purposes.”
Following Uber, GrabTaxi is making one-tap driver ratings mandatory after every trip. It says it’s doing this in the interest of safety and security, but also so that it can “send errant drivers for training, or in serious cases, de-register them from the system.”
Car models will also be shown after making a booking with GrabCar, its private vehicle ridehailing service (i.e. not the taxis hailed through GrabTaxi’s local taxi fleet tie-ups). The idea here is to make it easier to spot your booked vehicle as it approaches from details other than just the number plate. Again, Uber did this first.
As to the Uber comparisons in general, GrabTaxi’s chief executive Anthony Tan told VentureBeat earlier this month that he doesn’t think about Uber boss and rival Travis Kalanick in the day-to-day running of his business. That was the same day GrabTaxi announced its upcoming peer-to-peer carpooling service, GrabHitch, due to launch in Singapore later this year.
GrabTaxi is a for-profit social start-up that aims to revolutionalise the local taxi industry. We exist to create safer, more reliable and convenient taxi experiences for commuters while improving driver’s livelihoods. We leverage on… read more »
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