Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) has announced an $18.8 million (S$25 million) Land Transport Innovation Fund over five years to spur innovation and collaborative projects with industry partners for mobility-related research and trials in the country.
As a sector that is set to create 8,000 new jobs by 2030, LTA is exploring the use of automation and autonomous vehicles (AVs) to improve efficiency, reduce human error and deliver better services, an announcement said on Monday.
Moving forward, LTA expects the continuous adoption of technology and innovative solutions to play an integral part in the 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’s Chief Executive Ngien Hoon Ping said.
The statement noted that the introduction of robots and drones to inspect MRT and road tunnels, for instance, could reduce the need for tedious manual inspections and free engineers to focus on analysing the data captured. “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,” it added.
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 the land transport industry.
About 123,000 people work in the land transport industry currently – this includes bus captains, bus mechanics, customer service officers, railway engineers, station managers, as well as taxi and private hire car drivers.
Of that number, more than 21,000 are employed by the rail and public bus sectors to support the 5 million daily commuter journeys on public transport. With the expansion of public bus and rail networks to meet Singapore’s future needs, it is expected that 8,000 new public transport jobs will be created by 2030 to support this.
“LTA will also continue to develop the capabilities of the workforce, particularly through up-skilling and re-skilling of our public transport workers. To ensure that these workers can keep pace with industry developments, the Singapore Bus Academy and Singapore Rail Academy will offer new programmes mapped against the soon-to-be-launched Public Transport Skills Framework (PTSF),” the LTA said.
In addition to that, the authority will also partner with agencies such as IE Singapore, Spring Singapore and the Economic Development Board to assume a new role of developing a land transport industry transformation map.