Automotive

GrabProtect is Grab’s safety measures as it resumes operations

Stringent measures against COVID-19

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Grab Philippines is introducing new safety measures as it resumes ride-hailing operations on June 1, 2020. GrabProtect is the company’s safety measure intended to protect drivers and passengers against the threat of COVID-19. The company is also introducing new changes to the booking process for a safer and more efficient ride experience during these times.

Selfie verification feature and feedback

Under GrabProtect, Grab will introduce and implement changes to its GrabCar service. By the end of June, drivers must take an online health and hygiene checklist to verify their well-being. They must also submit a selfie with a mask on as a verification feature. Grab passengers can cancel a booking should they see that their driver is not wearing a mask.

The same also goes for the drivers. If they saw that their passengers are not wearing a mask, they can cancel the booking. Both the drivers and passengers are encouraged to submit feedback after every trip for cases where both parties appear unwell or are not wearing a mask.

Disinfection measures

Vehicle disinfection must take place before and after every ride. Grab will provide special disinfectant kits for every driver. These disinfectants are partially subsidized by the company, with special disinfection rates being planned to cover the rest of the expenses.  There will also be a deep disinfection process every other day to ensure safety and cleanliness at all times.

Before boarding the ride, passengers have to show their booking code to the driver for confirmation. They will only be allowed to seat at the back of the vehicle. A non-permeable acetate barrier provided by Grab must separate the drivers from the passengers. The company also encourages both parties to carry hand sanitizers at all times for personal disinfection.

And to minimize the spread of pathogens, only drivers will be allowed to open and close the doors for their passengers. A maximum of two passengers is allowed for every GrabCar trip.

Other changes to GrabCar service

Aside from GrabProtect, Grab is also introducing new changes to its booking process to comply with the government’s guidelines.

Drivers who want to resume driving for Grab must undergo training to receive safety and hygiene certification from the company. This training is done in a warehouse in Marikina, where drivers are taught how to disinfect their vehicles as well as how to install the acetate barrier. The company has already trained more than 40,000 drivers under its new safety measures.

Grab is also introducing new changes in the payment process for all bookings. There will be a cap in surge for the meantime as the company expects reduced demand for the first few months of resumption of operations. Physical cash transactions are not allowed in the meantime too. As such, passengers must pay through one of the two options:

  • Credit card/ debit card option
  • GrabPay

Grab will also cover the medical expenses for drivers who test positive for COVID-19. As per guidelines, the company is not allowing individuals under age 21 or those above 60 to make a booking. Individuals who are pregnant and those with a compromised immune system are also not allowed to book a ride.

Earlier this month, Grab also introduced changes to its delivery service by doubling down on GrabPay. Now, the company is introducing more changes as the Philippines move to a new normal. These changes will ensure a much-streamlined process while minimizing the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Apps

Waze gets a new look!

It was long overdue and it’s finally here

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If you frequently take the roads and use Waze as your driving companion, you may have gotten used to how it look — no matter how dated it seemed. That’s changing now as the app is getting an all new look.

The company says the brand refresh “reinforces inclusivity and connection into every journey on the road.” Whatever that means, the revamped Waze app now follows a more flat design and with more expressive cartoony mood indicators.

The new visual language based on roads and maps which will also be seen in multiple places, including the Waze website, emails, and social channels.

“This brand refresh encapsulates that unique Waze experience visually, with a new grid format based on our map, new Moods to capture the infinite array of emotions we all feel while driving and a lively color palette that celebrates the joy that we always try to bring to the road, and the magic of our community and the way we work together for better,” said Waze Head of Creative Jake Shaw.

What do you think? Do you like this new look or do you prefer the old one?

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Automotive

Nissan is making their electric cars better with all-wheel drive

Called the e-4ORCE

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When electric and hybrid vehicles started becoming popular, hardcore automobile enthusiasts steered clear for two main reasons: the lack of EV infrastructure and lack of power in early electric vehicles. Though the former remains a persistent problem today, modern carmakers are doing their best to create better and better powertrains in electric vehicles.

Nissan, for example, is developing a new system for its electric cars in the future. As you might know, Nissan’s contribution to the world of electric travel is the Nissan Leaf. With the upcoming technology that they call “e-4ORCE,” Nissan aims to pack more power into their electric packages. It’s all about improving the driving experience.

Now, you might be wondering about the weird name. Besides being a quirky twist on “force,” the name pertains to the technology’s new all-wheel drive. Previously, the Nissan Leaf subsisted on front-wheel drive.

More technically, e-4ORCE jams in a second electric motor, giving more boost and control to the system’s power. It improves acceleration and braking more efficiently. Handling also gets a bump, allowing drivers to control their vehicle exactly as they want it to do.

Despite the improvements in power, e-4ORCE also works on driver and passenger comfort. Driving is stabler and smoother. In turn, this improves driver confidence regardless of the road conditions.

Nissan first demonstrated this upcoming technology at last year’s CES 2019 using a custom Nissan Leaf e+. In the future, the carmaker hopes to add this technology to more mass-market electric vehicles.

SEE ALSO: Why Nissan’s new infotainment system looks better than others

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Apps

Digital keys lets you unlock your car with an iPhone

No more keys that’ll scratch your phone

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Apple wants to replace physical keys with an iPhone and the brand has announced a new feature at WWDC 2020 to make this possible. Digital keys are stored on your iPhone and can be used to unlock the car with just a single tap. Furthermore, you can share the key with your friends and family via iMessage.

Emily Schubert, Apple senior manager of car experience engineering, demonstrated how a driver can tap the door handle with their iPhone to unlock the sedan. To start the car, just keep the iPhone on the car’s charging pad and you’re good to go.

The technology leverages NFC (Near Field Communication) to interact with the car. The Wallet app is a safe haven for your keys and this is the same app where your Apple Card, as well as other tickets, are stored.

On the automobile side, BMW will be the first marque to introduce it to drivers. The digital key functionality shall feature first in the 2021 BMW 5 series this July. Apple said more cars that work with the system will come to the market next year. For electric cars, the tech giant is also working on its mapping application to show nearby charging points.

While Tesla owners will not be surprised by this announcement, it can bring a monumental change for many since it relies on existing technology and can support cars that are already on the road.

Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, said the tech giant is working on a standard with industry groups to realize a secure, “real” keyless experience by next year.

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