ST Engineering to test self-driving buses in Israel

ST Engineering will begin developing and testing autonomous buses next year in Ashdod, under an agreement signed on Oct 30, 2018. PHOTO: ST ENGINEERING

TEL AVIV - Self-driving buses developed by Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering will soon be tested in the port city of Ashdod in Israel.

The company will begin developing and testing autonomous buses next year in Ashdod, under an agreement signed on Tuesday (Oct 30) at the sixth annual Smart Mobility Summit in Tel Aviv, Israel.

ST Engineering will also set up a new research and development centre in Israel to support the development of autonomous buses.

It will also collaborate with Ashdod, Israel's sixth largest city, on other transportation matters, such as a fleet management system for public buses and an intelligent transport system for traffic management.

"Using big data analytics and machine learning, these solutions will improve the service quality of (the city's) transport systems and enhance commuter experience through real-time traffic and commuter sensing, supervisory and control capabilities, as well as early warning of potential service disruptions," said ST Engineering in a statement.

Traffic management systems developed by ST Engineering are in place in a number of cities worldwide, such as in China, Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan.

The firm currently has more than 500 smart city projects in 70 cities, which brought it $1 billion in revenue last year, a number it hopes to double by 2022.

ST Engineering chief marketing officer Chew Men Leong, who signed the agreement in Tel Aviv, said the pact was in line with the smart city ambitions of Ashdod.

Ashdod has been part of a smart city push since 2014, and last year formed a joint venture with Israeli autonomous technology firm Mobileye to develop advanced transportation systems.

"With the agreement, we can explore how we can bring some of the technologies we have in Singapore and see how we can apply them here," Mr Chew told The Straits Times.

He added: "We're not stopping here. Beyond Ashdod, there may be other municipalities (in Israel) that are interested. It's just the beginning. "

He said that even as ST Engineering hopes to help Ashdod improve its public transport system, it is also exploring how its work on autonomous vehicles can benefit from the technology being developed by Israel's start-up ecosystem.

In June, ST Engineering collaborated with Israeli start-up SafeRide Technologies on cyber-security for its autonomous shuttles.

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