Singapore intelligent transport systems plans offer ‘smart investment opportunities’

Out-Law News | 07 Aug 2014 | 3:56 pm | 1 min. read

A master plan outlining how Singapore will develop its intelligent transport systems (ITS) over the next 15 years has been published by the country’s Land Transport Authority (LTA).

The LTA said its ‘Smart Mobility 2030’ master plan (44-page / 11 MB PDF), launched jointly with Intelligent Transportation Society Singapore (ITSS), aims to “optimise transport systems with the latest ITS initiatives and advancements in transport technologies”.

According to the LTA, the master plan is needed to manage the increasing number of vehicles in the “land scarce city-state, coupled with the changing social, economic and technological landscapes (that) have brought about new transportation challenges”.

However, the challenges facing Singapore’s transport infrastructure have also “brought forth new opportunities for growth and breakthroughs” in transportation technology applications and solutions and offer investment opportunities for the public and private sector, the LTA said.

LTA chief executive officer Chew Hock Yong said the goal was to increase data collection and analytics to make “relevant and useful information” available to everyone “on the move”.

Chew said: “It is crucial to ensure that Singapore can effectively tap into technological advancements and map out the overall direction for ITS developments in the next 15 years...  and bring urban mobility to a new level.”

According to the master plan, the total number of vehicles in Singapore has grown from 700,000 in 2002 to more than 970,000 today, with roads occupying 12% of Singapore’s total land area compared to 14% for housing.

The master plan said “the issue of land constraints places private and public transport under strain and the trade-off between land use for roads and other competing essential needs will be more acutely felt in the coming years”.

ITS technology can be used to benefit transport operators and passengers by monitoring travel times, the numbers of passenger travelling in or waiting for buses, trains and taxis, as well as making data quickly available on the length of queues at traffic intersections, the master plan said.

Singapore’s first ITS master plan, developed in 2006, “has guided the successful completion and implementation of several ITS initiatives and solutions”, Chew said. “However, the changing social and economic landscape over recent years has brought about new transportation challenges. The evolution of smart mobile devices in recent years has also provided new opportunities.”

Three key strategies outlined in the new master plan include implementing “innovative and sustainable smart mobility solutions”, developing and adopting ITS standards and forging “partnerships and co-creation” with the public and private sectors.

According to a study published in March 2014 by Grand View Research, Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing region for ITS projects up to 2020, at an estimated compound annual growth rate of 14% from 2014. North America, which accounted for 43.8% of the overall industry share in 2013, is expected to remain the largest regional market over the forecast period, the survey said.