AsianScientist (Nov. 26, 2015) – The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is setting up Transport Research Centers with three Singapore universities, and establishing a Research Advisory Panel to chart research directions for the future of transport in Singapore.
The collaborations will include research and technical trials on innovative policies, technological applications and sustainable practices in the transport industry.
“Even as Singapore continues developing into a liveable city with a high quality of life, it also means creating a well-connected people-centered land transport system that meets the diverse needs of commuters with less reliance on cars. To achieve this, we have to step up our capability and investment in the area of research, so that we are able to harness the latest technology and create smart transport choices,” said Mr. Chew Men Leong, LTA’s chief executive.
LTA is also organizing an inaugural LTA Future Mobility Symposium to showcase LTA’s research collaborations and projects in Future Mobility and Self-Driving Vehicles, Chew added.
The three Transport Research Centers will operate at National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT). LTA signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with each university on November 18, 2015, as a first step. LTA will fund projects to enhance knowledge and drive innovation into specific focus areas, such as active mobility, electro-mobility, self-driving vehicles, geotechnical engineering and condition-based maintenance.
Dr. Lee Der-Horng, Director of NUS-LTA Transport Research Center and Professor from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at NUS Faculty of Engineering said that the research will include the design and development of a new community-based mobility system.
“The community-based mobility system is to address the need of bridging the last-mile gap for commuters, and could be implemented in residential or business enclaves. With this new NUS-LTA Transport Research Center, we can look forward to working collaboratively on key areas, such as mobility behavior and ‘green’ transportation, as well as to formulate sustainable solutions to enhance Singapore’s transportation system and improve commuting experience,” said Lee.
NTU’s Chief of Staff and Vice-President (Research) Professor Lam Khin Yong said that NTU recognizes the importance of future mobility research and is dedicated to the research and development in next generation intelligent transport systems and solutions.
“NTU has transformed the campus into a living lab and collaborated with industry partners like BMW and NXP Semiconductors N.V. to develop, test and commercialize innovative capabilities in electromobility, self-driving vehicles and secure wireless communication technologies,” added Lam.
Professor Simon Yu, Program Director, Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (Land & Building Services), SIT said he was also excited to contribute towards building such research capabilities aimed at creating a new vibrant future for Singapore’s transportation system.
“We will work together with LTA in developing simulation-based learning on railway and transportation systems so that both SIT students and working professionals can master important aspects such as signalling, route planning and system engineering through simulated MRT networks,” said Yu.
The LTA Research Advisory Panel has 12 international and local academics and is chaired by Deputy President (Research and Technology) of NUS, Professor Ho Teck Hua. The panel will provide recommendations on the objectives and directions of research and development (R&D) to support LTA’s development into an urban transport R&D hub, as well as future sensing for emerging transport mobility issues.
To encourage innovation among youth and build up the engineering pool for the Public Transport industry, LTA is also launching the LTA Engineering Challenge for Sustainable Future Mobility where tertiary students and engineering professionals can use their creativity, innovation and engineering skills to co-create projects to help create an attractive and robust land transport network.
There will be two challenge topics—‘Sustainable Mobility’ and ‘Future Mobility (Self-Driving Vehicles)’—for which participants are invited to rethink what Singapore’s transport landscape might be like in the years ahead. Under Sustainable Mobility, the participants could explore how to make Singapore a ‘car-free’ walkable city, where Singapore’s street space is centered on pedestrians instead of drivers. Under Future Mobility (Self Driving Vehicle), participants could use their creativity to imagine how on-demand, door-to-door mobility service provided by self-driving vehicles would transform our transport landscape.
The LTA Engineering Challenge will be carried out with support from the Institution of Engineers Singapore. It is open to students from the polytechnics, universities, junior colleges and the Institute of Technical Education, and will have an open category for interested professionals in the engineering field.
Source: Nanyang Technological University; Photo: Schristia/Flickr/CC.
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