Grab – design a blue sky transportation app (final)
Grab – Design a blue sky transportation app
Prepared by Guo Bin
Before going to the main project, here is something about my transportation
style. I normally do not take a taxi, my main mode of transportation is by driving
the shared car that belongs to my family or public transport. The rare reasons for
me to get a taxi are when it is raining and when there is an emergency.
Idea: Grab Ambulance
- Increasing aging population in Singapore and South East Asia
- Increase needs for Emergency Ambulance Service (EAS) and Private
Ambulance Service (PAS)
- Since year 2000, the number of calls to 995 in 10 minutes period has
increased by more than 100%
- In a study in 2015, it shows that majority of the calls to EAS are for
emergency cases, there is also about 5% of the calls were for non-
emergency cases and false alarm. This is an issue because this may take
away scarce resources that can be used to safe lives.
Due to the lack of resources from the EMS side and increase demand for
ambulance service, there is a need for PAS and 1777 hotline service for PAS
cases. However, the general public are unaware of the 1777 hotline service and
have a negative impression of the PAS (they tend to respond to cases much
slower than EMS, lack of emergency handling experience and tend to treat cases
less serious because it is not an emergency case).
As a result, the general public will call the EAS first, regardless of the emergency
statues of the incident and the higher cost for non-emergency cases. This could
be because they do not know that they have the option to call the PAS or their
negative impression of PAS. To deal with these cases, the EMS person who
received the call often has to check to make sure the incident is a real emergency,
or else the caller will be referred to the PAS. In some situation, the caller will be
pushed around by EMS and PMS until someone is willing to pick the patient up.
This can frustrating for the caller.
So, How Might We educate users when is the right situation to get EAS or PAS, so
that the scarce resources of EAS can be used to save life. And at the same time,
make the whole ambulance service a pleasant one.
Jack, 23 years old, loves mountain biking
Jack mountain bikes around Bukit Timah National Park every weekend morning.
Jack noticed that there is an increase in bikers in the park, hence, the increase in
bike accidents. He and his friends encounter one incident where they have to call
the ambulance for help. However, they were not able to explain the injury to the
EAS person and they were not able to share their location. Hence, there is no
ambulance service able to pick them up. So Jack has to help the injured person to
the nearest public road to hail a taxi to get to the hospital.
While reflecting on the incident, Jack said he does not mind which ambulance
service came to pick his friend up and he hope that ambulance service providers
are able to use the GPS to locate them and provide assistance.
Maria, 32 years old, household caretaker for a senior couple.
While the senior lady, aged 77, is healthy, the senior man, aged 80, has diabetes
and suffered stroke 4 years ago.
Maria, from Philippines, was hired 4 years ago to look after the senior couple
after the senior man’s first stroke. Maria was given a booklet that contains
information on the things Maria needs to do in an event of emergency and the
number to call for help. However, the booklet is chucked somewhere with
Despite being a caretaker, Maria is clueless about the ambulance services. She
was told to call her bosses if anything happens. Maria does use Grab app to
arrange transportation for hospital check ups for the senior couples.
4. User Flow
Before an incident happens:
- There should be a feature that allows users to customize the bottom bar, so that
the frequent used mode of transportation will be on the first page and the users
do not have to search for it. So, people like Maria the caretaker can rearrange the
bottom bar by putting Grab Ambulance on the first page.
- Users can pre-set the ‘favourite’ ambulance service to be requested. In Maria’s
case, the senior man’s private doctor is from Raffles Hospital. Using the
‘Favourite’ setting, Maria can request the ambulance service from Raffles
Hospital and alert the man’s doctor at the same time.
When an incident happened:
Please refer to the flow chart below.
- If the ambulance does not have enough seats for the user, the user may request
for an additional transport so that the users can follow the patient to the
- The user can write some comments that will help the ambulance service to deal
with the situation, like drug allergy or request for a female medical personal.
- ETA = Estimate Time of Arrival
After using the app to request for ambulance service:
- The ambulance service will call the user to confirm certain facts; such as the
situation is indeed an emergency, the location, the hospital to go and the ETA.
- Currently, PAS requires the users to have cash of about $120-150 to pay for the
service on the spot. However, some users may not have the cash with them. This
is where Grab pay can come in handy.
5. Competitive analysis
Grab ambulance as a feature has no competitor at the moment. The closest
competitor is the 1777 hotline, whereby individual PAS has to pay to be part of
By having this additional feature, it encourage people like Maria, Jack and me,
who do not usually take a taxi unless in an event of emergency, to have the Grab
app on their phone. And as long as the Grab app on my phone, I will probably not
stand by the road to hail a taxi any more; I will use the app to get my taxi or
1. Display page when Grab Ambulance is selected
- An additional column will
appear for user to choose
which ambulance service to
- Everything else remains the
- ‘Book’ button will remain grey
to signify that user have to
choose one of the ambulance
before the app can process the
2. When user choose Emergency ambulance
- The Drop off point will
automatically be filled by the
nearest hospital. The address of
the nearest hospital will also
appear on the map.
- If there is no additional
comment, the user can click the
green ‘Book’ button
- A pop up will explain what is an
emergency and ask user for
confirmation that the situation is
an emergency one. This is
necessary because the limited
resources of EAS must be
dedicated, for free, to emergency
- Confirmation page will let the
user know that he/she has
selected the Emergency
ambulance service, the location of
pick up and which hospital to go.
- Display Estimated time of Arrival
When User choose private ambulance
- In this case, the user needs an
additional taxi to ferry the other family
members together with the patient in
the ambulance. So the user will click
the additional taxi button.
- User is also requires to choose a
hospital. When click on the ‘drop off’
bar a list of hospital will appear
without typing. The user will also have
the option of the nearest hospital.
- User entered ‘Raffles Hospital’ as the
drop off point, request for an
additional taxi, to pay by GrabPay, and
request for female medical staff.
- The location of Raffles Hospital will
appear on the map. And the book
button will turn green to signify that
the booking can be made.
- Booking Confirmation
- The app system algorithm should
arrange the arrival of the ambulance
and the taxi to be approximately the
7. Feedback from user testing
- People don’t understand why they can’t choose the hospital when it is an
emergency ambulance. This is rule of the emergency ambulance that they only
take people to the nearest hospital and it is important because the patient is able
to received medical aid as soon as possible.
- User may click ‘Yes’ without reading the cases of emergency. This is the most
important hoop for users to jump over. As the emergency ambulance should only
be used for life and dead situation. So I will need come up a interface that make
sure users will read and know what are the cases that are classified as
- From my short interview with people, they are clueless about the private
ambulance service hotline and they have a lot of misconceptions and
misunderstanding of how ambulance services works. We can use this app to
educate users and general public ahead of time, rather than they try to figure out
how it works during emergency.
8. Visual Screen:
i. Page after user select Grab Ambulance
- Like I explained in my paper prototype, users can rearrange the order of
the bottom bar.
- There is an additional bar on the top for the user to choose which
ambulance service is require.
- The ‘Book’ button will be in grey colour to signify that it is not clickable
unless user fill need the necessary information.
ii. When Private Ambulance is selected
- The user selected Private Ambulance to Raffles Hospital. The user also
request for an additional taxi to ferry the family members of the patient to
- The estimated fare will be shown as for usual.
- Once all the information required are put in, the ‘Book’ button will turn
green to signify that the button is clickable.
iii. Confirmation of the booking
- All the necessary information, like the ambulance service, address of
pick up and drop off locations, will be emphasis so that the user can
double check before confirming the booking.
- A ‘cross’ button on the top right corner for user to go back to the
booking page to make changes.
iv. Estimated Time of Arrival
- The estimated time of arrival for both the ambulance and the GrabCar
will be display and will be refresh whenever the user check it.
- The car plate number of the GrabCar will be shown as well.
I hope that with Grab Ambulance, we will be able to get more people (who do not
have grab app) to download the app on their phone. As long as the app is in their
phone, the high chances that they will use it. I also hope the app will educate
users the right procedure when getting an ambulance and satisfy the need to get
ambulance during the situation that call for it. Hence, with these, the company
objective will meet user needs. I believe Grab Ambulance will be especially help
if I am in overseas (one of the many countries that Grab, Didi and Lyft are
operating) and need an ambulance. This is because I would not know the address
of the location, not know what is the local ambulance hotline and it would be
very stressful moment of time.