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Grab rides into Indonesia smart city to test new tech

Sprawling Jakarta development will offer testing ground for AI mapping

Grab will set up a research center in the Jakarta area to develop so-called smart city technologies related to artificial intelligence and electric cars.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- Singaporean ride-hailing company Grab will test new transportation-related technologies in a smart city under development by Indonesian group Sinar Mas outside the capital city.

The ride-hailing operator will establish a research and development center within the expansive BSD smart digital city, according to a memorandum of understanding signed Monday by Grab and the real estate arm of Sinar Mas.

Grab will pursue technologies guided by artificial intelligence and other innovations at the research center. It aims to optimize routes for four- and two-wheeled vehicles with more accurate mapping information. Ride-hailing services with environmentally friendly vehicles such as electric cars also will be tested in BSD City.

At roughly 6,000 hectares, BSD City covers an area half the size of Paris. Sinar Mas, which started property development in the 1980s, began transforming the site into a smart city in recent years by strengthening communications infrastructure and inviting information technology companies.

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