Singapore's SWAT Mobility partners Toyota in Philippines for corporate transport

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SINGAPORE-BASED startup SWAT Mobility has joined hands with Toyota Motor Philippines to launch a corporate smart transportation solution in Manila.

The service allows employees and clients of KMC Solutions, the Philippines' largest co-working and staff-leasing company, to book rides and plan routes in minutes through an app.

SWAT's technology takes bookings, instantly calculates the nearest routes according to daily demand, and navigates drivers to passengers via the driver app. All system activity is tracked through its administrative interfaces.

The startup on Monday said this automates 90 per cent of the manual work in managing a corporate shuttle fleet, while increasing fleet efficiency by 20 to 30 per cent.

With limited public transportation due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, KMC had implemented shuttle services for its employees and clients. But the company found that its administrative staff were spending nights and weekends taking bookings, planning and manually reporting, said Alex Gomez, vice-president for people and culture at KMC.

With SWAT's system, employees can track their bus to the pick-up point - this means not needing to brave the long lines at Metro Manila's rail stations or pack themselves in overflowing jeepneys, SWAT said.

Only authorised employees may book rides and board vehicles. Vehicle capacity controls set by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) are enforced through the applications, and records are kept in real time to enable contact tracing and real-time reporting.

SWAT was founded in 2016 with the aim to make transport more efficient. Since then, it has completed over a million dynamically-routed rides worldwide for commuters. The firm's solutions are used by clients across Asia-Pacific, including Sumitomo Corp, Toyota Corp, Transportation for New South Wales, and Sembcorp Marine.

The startup has raised more than US$12 million in funding from investors such as ComfortDelGro Ventures, Goldbell Group, iGlobe Partners, EDBI, EDB New Ventures, SMRT Momentum Ventures and the University of Tokyo Edge Capital.

It operates in seven markets, including seven markets including Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam.

The company launched its first services in the Philippines in May, together with the Toyota Mobility Foundation, as part of DOTr's programme to provide free rides for health workers.

While KMC is its first corporate client, SWAT said it expects to launch "many" projects in the Philippines over the coming weeks, both for private and public transport. 

SWAT is working closely with local partners to scale up operations to serve high demand. Chief executive Jarrold Ong said: "Deploying in the Philippines is especially meaningful because we can directly impact people's lives by significantly reducing their commute time. Intelligent transport solutions like ours help fill the gaps in urban transport systems; when applied on a larger scale, we can improve congestion levels and quality of life for people in the Philippines."


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