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Microsoft and Grab partner to verify drivers and passengers with facial recognition


Microsoft has formed a strategic partnership with Singapore-based ride-sharing company Grab to work together on innovations in big data, artificial intelligence, and other technologies, CNBC reports. The partnership will allow Grab to develop new ways to verify the identities of drivers and passengers with facial recognition.

Grab will use a range of Microsoft products under the agreement, including Azure cloud, according to a joint announcement. The company’s President, Ming Maa, said that Grab will use Microsoft’s investment to improve customer safety and experience with data analytics, fraud detection, machine learning, and computer vision. He also said that Grab is on track to raise $3 billion in investments this year, and that the partnership with Microsoft will help Grab scale its operations.

“We’re fascinated with the companies that are emerging from Southeast Asia,” Microsoft Executive Vice President Peggy Johnson told CNBC. “It’s been amazing to watch what they have done with technology, in the way that they’ve applied it to solving problems for their customers.”

Microsoft joins other high-profile backers of Grab, including Toyota, SoftBank, and Chinese ride-sharing service Didi Chuxing. In addition to ride-hailing, the company also provides food delivery, mobile payments, and financial services. Grab operates in 8 countries in Southeast Asia.

Uber has also used Microsoft’s facial recognition technology to identify drivers, and Synaptics VP Godfrey Cheng recently told Biometric Update that biometrics will soon arrive on people’s dashboards.

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