Driving force behind a driverless truck project

Mr Titus Seah heads the MOT-PSA truck platooning project, in which a truck with a driver leads a convoy of driverless trucks via wireless communications.
Mr Titus Seah heads the MOT-PSA truck platooning project, in which a truck with a driver leads a convoy of driverless trucks via wireless communications.

In the future, convoys of driverless trucks could ferry freight from one port terminal to another, guided along by a lead truck with a driver.

Mr Titus Seah, 30, is working to make that a reality in Singapore, a move which would help address the shortage of truck drivers at PSA. Mr Seah, lead strategist at the Ministry of Transport's (MOT's) futures division, heads the MOT-PSA truck platooning project, in which a human-driven truck leads a convoy of driverless trucks via wireless communication. The project is still in its trial phase but is expected to hit the roads next year.

Mr Seah is one of 800 public officers in the Public Service Leadership Programme (PSLP), which aims to develop leaders with specialist capabilities and knowledge. He joined the public service as a PUB officer in 2012 and was appointed to the PSLP in 2014. Last year, he was seconded to MOT.

He told The Straits Times that it was thanks to the PSLP that he has had the chance to venture out of PUB and be exposed to a different job environment and challenges, while building deep domain knowledge.

PSLP officers are first rotated among agencies before deciding on a sector to specialise in, a choice Mr Seah will make next year. He has not made up his mind but said he was excited by his work at MOT as it gave him the chance to "lay the ground" for new technologies.

He said he gets to "both shape policy in the abstract and see how it translates on the ground" in his current role. In this case, if implemented, the project could boost productivity of truck drivers. "They will be able to manage a fleet of trucks in a control room," he added.

Danson Cheong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2017, with the headline 'Driving force behind a driverless truck project'. Print Edition | Subscribe