Revving Up the Future of Autonomous Transport

Prashanth Dusthakar Prakash

Sales & Marketing Lead, Autonomous Solutions, Urban Solutions, ST Engineering

With over a decade of expertise in smart mobility solutions, ST Engineering has been leading the next wave of shared autonomous transport with many firsts in the industry. This includes the first fully operational autonomous vehicle in Asia, the first on-demand autonomous bus service in Singapore and milestone deployments in other cities worldwide. Enabled by ST Engineering’s platform-agnostic AV kit, comprehensive autonomous mobility solutions, as well as the ability to integrate with other applications, the Group has formed strategic partnerships with various industry players and manufacturers to develop AV solutions and operating models that drive win-win collaborations and accelerate AV adoption.

Self-driving vehicles are set to revolutionise urban mobility, and Singapore is raring to go with its autonomous buses gaining a head start in the race to provide sustainable transportation for cities worldwide.

ST Engineering, a leading technology solutions provider for autonomous public transport solutions, has consistently raised its autonomous vehicles (AV) capabilities with the rollout of AV solutions and platforms for successful deployments that shape the future of public transport. As part of the Group’s larger vision to be a key contributor to Singapore’s AV ecosystem, ST Engineering has been collaborating with various industry players to accelerate AV development and adoption.

Comprehensive Autonomous Transport Solution

ST Engineering caters to different cities’ use cases with its comprehensive suite of AV products ranging from solution kits and vehicle platforms to management systems and on-demand applications. Its platform-agnostic AV kit can be integrated with a myriad of transportation platforms to transform vehicles into smart autonomous public transport. The tech kit is powered by an advanced autonomous software layer that mimics human-like driving characteristics to enable AVs to navigate independently in complex urban environments.

ST Engineering has collaborated with industry partners to integrate its vendor-independent systems with various third-party applications and offer AV solutions that cater to the needs of cities with different operating requirements. The Group continues to form strategic partnerships with multiple OEMs to develop AV solutions with business and operating models that drive win-win collaborations.

Leading the Way with Autonomous Buses

Since 2015, ST Engineering has been working closely with various industry partners, ministries and institutes of higher learning to develop core aspects of the autonomous technology stack while deploying trials and pilots for shared transportation. Driven by this collaborative approach, the Auto Rider at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay1 became the first fully operational autonomous vehicle in Asia in 2016 while the trial started in 2015.

The concept of shared autonomous transport service turned into a reality in 2019 when the first on-demand shuttle was launched in Singapore. The three-month trial ferried more than 6,000 passengers across Sentosa, Singapore’s resort island2. This marked an important milestone in Singapore’s journey towards autonomous transport, and it was among 19 projects that won the prestigious IDC Smart City Asia Pacific Awards3 in 2020.

In January 2021, the city-state went a step further by piloting paid on-demand autonomous bus services for public at the Singapore Science Park 2 and Jurong Island4. This deployment is driven by industry partners led by the Singapore’s Emerging Stronger Taskforce’s Alliance for Action on Robotics.

ST Engineering has also worked with industry partners to enhance and integrate its AV solutions with evolving technologies in related areas such as artificial intelligence, data analytics and cybersecurity.

In 2017, ST Engineering launched the Singapore Autonomous Vehicles Consortium to facilitate and strengthen collaboration, develop AV standards and accelerate the application and adoption of AV technologies in Singapore. The consortium includes A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD) and Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT).

Going Global Through Collaborations

ST Engineering’s autonomous transport solutions have been deployed worldwide, and are currently operating in countries including Australia, China, Israel and Japan. In these deployments, the Group has collaborated closely with industry and local regulatory partners to ensure its autonomous transport solutions meet the urban mobility needs of the local communities.

Last year, ST Engineering has joined hands with partners to deploy a pilot trial in Japan to establish a new business model to provide new transportation services to overcome driver shortage challenges due to an ageing population and declining birth rate in the country.

Sustainable Future Mobility

As ST Engineering moves into the future of AVs, the Group continues to explore partnerships with like-minded companies to enhance its capabilities and provide a complete suite of autonomous transport solutions through a collaborative build-test-deploy approach. This phased approach ensures AV technologies are tested, evaluated and demonstrated at different stages of development to reduce risk, as well as enhance reliability and readiness for deployment.

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