Toyota Motor Corporation will take a US$1bn stake in Grab to expand its collaboration with the south east Asia ride hailer and, it said, "to drive further advances in Mobility as a Service (MaaS) across the region".

To accelerate decision-making, a Toyota executive will join Grab's board and a dedicated Toyota employee will be seconded to Grab to as an executive officer with Toyota considering more personnel exchanges in the future.

Grab operates online-to-offline mobile platforms in transportation, food and package delivery, mobile payments and financial services in 217 cities in eight south east Asian countries. In March this year, it acquired Uber's southeast Asian assets, and is now, Toyota claims, "the partner of choice for ride-hailing in the region".

Since August 2017, Toyota and Grab have been developing connected services using driving data collected by the automaker's TransLog data-transmission driving recorder. The recorder, developed for corporate fleets, has been installed in 100 Grab rental cars. The data collected is stored on Toyota's proprietary mobility services platform (MSPF), which serves as a form of information infrastructure for connected vehicles. Both companies have already begun collaboration in the field of connected vehicles by, for example, providing driving data-based automotive insurance for Grab's rental fleet in Singapore through local insurance companies.

Toyota and Grab's initial success has led them to expand their collaboration, they said today.

This expansion is aimed at achieving connectivity for Grab's rental car fleet and at rolling out various connected services throughout the region that use vehicle data stored on the MSPF. In addition, collaborations in driving-data-based automotive insurance, financial services for Grab drivers and maintenance services are also contemplated under the new partnership.

Through this new agreement, Toyota and Grab plan to shift into full-scale implementation of services they have been developing to customers in Asia. The two companies will look for future collaborations aimed to achieve more-efficient ride-hailing businesses and for developing future mobility service solutions and MaaS vehicles.

Anthony Tan, co-founder and CEO of Grab, said: "This strong partnership will enable us to become the one-stop mobility platform in south east Asia."

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