Toyota Collaborates with Grab to Deliver Mobility Services to Drivers

What happens when the world's largest automotive manufacturer meets the leading ride-hailing platform in Southeast Asia? They share driving data, of course.

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Toyota Financial Services Corporation (TFS), Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co.,Ltd. (Aioi) and Grab, Inc. (Grab) are joining forces to make their driver partners better connected on the road.

Uber and Grab @[/caption>

Toyota's in-house, The Connected Company, created Translog, a data-transmission driving recorder that captures driving patterns and gives connected services it can give to drivers. These may include financing programs, user-based insurance, and predictive maintenance services, which are all part of Toyota's Mobility Service Platform (MSPF).

"Toyota is a global leader in the automotive sector and one of the most popular brands with drivers on our platform right across Southeast Asia, and we're excited to work together to explore how we can extend more and better connected car services to our driver partners," said Anthony Tan, co-founder and CEO of Grab Inc. "We are confident this will benefit our driver partners, and we look forward to exploring other ways to collaborate with Toyota in the future."

Grab app in a mobile phone @[/caption>

Grab has the biggest reach when it comes to on-demand transportation services in many Southeast Asian countries. The Grab app has already been downloaded more than 55 million times and the company itself has around 1.2 million drivers in seven countries.

In the Philippines, the ride-sharing company has its app downloaded by a million users, compared to Uber, which only has around 600,000 (as of December 2016).

“Through this collaboration with Grab, we would like to explore new ways of delivering secure, convenient and attractive mobility services to our fleet customers in Southeast Asia,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, a senior managing officer at Toyota.

Not the First Time

This isn't the first foray for Toyota when it comes to investing in innovative technologies, products and services.

In fact, Toyota Tsusho Corp, the auto giant's trading arm, invested an undisclosed amount in Grab to provide services within the Southeast Asian region a year after buying a small stake in Uber Technologies.

Aside from investing a share in Uber, it is also promoting its new mobility platform with Getaround, a U.S. car sharing company.

The sudden shift to a more unconventional way of business shows a new "paradigm shift" that's happening in the the auto industry, which according to President Akio Toyoda, is forcing a reevaluation of traditional business models.

Similarly, Grab has also been collaborating with other car makers in the past, with its most recent partner, Honda Motor Companies, for its motorcycle-hailing operations in Southeast Asia.