Parliament: Driverless vehicles may soon be deployed for security patrols

Dr Ng Eng Hen said in a written reply in Parliament on Aug 17 that unmanned ground vehicles may be deployed soon.
Dr Ng Eng Hen said in a written reply in Parliament on Aug 17 that unmanned ground vehicles may be deployed soon.PHOTO: ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Driverless vehicles may soon be deployed by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to conduct security patrols, reducing its reliance on soldiers who now patrol on foot.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in a written reply to Parliament on Monday that unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) "could reduce the number of guards on patrol, yet protect larger areas".

"Moving forward, such UGVs could assist our soldiers in ensuring that key installations and infrastructure remain safe from the threat of attack," said Dr Ng, who was replying to Mr Christopher de Souza (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC).

Mr de Souza had asked how the Defence Ministry will increase its use of new technology to modernise the fighting force and SAF's motorised functions.

Dr Ng said the SAF has been testing unmanned technology, including platforms for deployment in the air and sea.

Meanwhile, the army plans to almost double its wheeled and tracked platforms such as tanks and other armoured vehicles, over the next 10 to 15 years to enhance its potency.