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Ride-hailing app Grab to launch autonomous taxis before 2022

President says Southeast Asian company plans to expand to another 70 cities this year

Grab President Ming Maa speaks to Nikkei Asian Review on Jan. 30 in Tokyo. (Photo by Mamoru Yago)

TOKYO -- Southeast Asian ride-hailing app operator Grab is planning to launch autonomous taxis on the roads before 2022.

In an interview with Nikkei Asian Review in Tokyo, Grab President Ming Maa said the company wants to commercialize its robo-taxi service "definitely earlier" than 2022, when the French automaker Renault is expected to launch a similar service. "It will be earlier than consumers expect," said Maa.

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