Is researching driverless tech the right road to take?

Our research institutes should rethink their work on autonomous vehicles ("Driverless trucks may be tested here soon"; Jan 10).

Established car makers are doing extensive research on this too, and are likely ahead of us in this race.

We do not have vehicle manufacturing capabilities, or even a facility to assemble vehicles.

The best we can hope for is to register a few patents for control or engineering designs, and sell them to a foreign manufacturer.

Perhaps the emphasis of the research is to develop a vehicle suited to our local road conditions. However, how different is our road environment from those overseas?

If such a vehicle is developed, will it have a market overseas?

Researchers must ask themselves if the payback is worth all the money and time put into developing the vehicle.

Kelvin Leong Moon Kit

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2017, with the headline 'Is researching driverless tech the right road to take?'. Print Edition | Subscribe