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Singapore announces Land Transport Innovation Fund for mobility-related research and trials

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has announced a Land Transport Innovation Fund valued at SGD 25 million (USD 18.9 million) over five years to boost innovation and collaborative projects with industry partners for mobility-related research and trials in Singapore.

The Singapore agency is exploring the use of automation and autonomous vehicles (AVs) to improve efficiency, reduce human error and deliver better services. LTA said it expects the continuous adoption of technology and innovative solutions to play an integral part in Singapore’s land transport industry’s development.

“With the Land Transport Innovation Fund, I hope to see even more innovative solutions emerge to shape the transport of tomorrow,” LTA Chief Executive Ngien Hoon Ping said. For example, the use of robots and drones to inspect mass rapid transit (MRT) and road tunnels could reduce manual inspections and allow engineers to focus on data analysis collected by automated means instead.

“Autonomous buses and dynamically-routed, on-demand shuttles can also be deployed to enhance public transport by providing more responsive, efficient and convenient transport modes for commuters,” LTA said.

Meanwhile, the Co-ordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport, Khaw Boon Wan, launched the Land Transport Industry Transformation Map (ITM) that serves as the blueprint for growing and transforming Singapore’s land transport industry. About 123,000 people work in Singapore’s land transport industry currently, including bus captains, bus mechanics, customer service officers, railway engineers, station managers, as well as taxi and private hire car drivers. More than 21,000 alone are employed by the rail and public bus sectors to support five million daily commuter journeys on public transport. With the expansion of public bus and rail networks to support Singapore’s future needs, it is expected that 8,000 new public transport jobs will be created by 2030.

LTA will also partner with other agencies such as IE Singapore, Spring Singapore and the Economic Development Board to assume a new role in developing a land transport industry transformation map.