Self-driving cars: Tech 'can boost road safety'

Dr Ong says potential privacy-related concerns are not a major roadblock.
Dr Ong says potential privacy-related concerns are not a major roadblock.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Telecommunication technologies have already revolutionised everyday life, but there are even bigger changes looming on the horizon.

One rapidly emerging field is communication between vehicles, says Dr Ong Eng Hwee of tech start-up Avennetz Technologies.

While strict regulations mean that one of its more exciting applications - self-driving cars - are unlikely to make an appearance here any time soon, the technology has a lot of potential for use in other areas.

These include insurance, risk management for drivers to enhance public road safety, and real- time asset tracking by logistics firms, notes Dr Ong, who founded the company in May last year.

"We're now ramping up a prototype which can identify different driving traits and behaviour.

"This technology will help to bring greater awareness of road safety by providing instantaneous feedback to drivers.

"The real-time data provides opportunities for drivers to react and improve their driving behaviour while behind the wheel."

The platform is now undergoing pilot testing and is expected to be on the market for beta testing next year, Dr Ong adds.

He says potential privacy-related concerns are not a major roadblock.

"The data can be anonymised so that drivers would be more comfortable with sharing information ... Besides, people are less sensitive about sharing private information with the increasing popularity of social media."

Chia Yan Min

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2015, with the headline 'Self-driving cars: Tech 'can boost road safety''. Print Edition | Subscribe