Speech by SMRT President & Group CEO, Mr Desmond Kuek, at the Volvo-NTU-SMRT Autonomous Bus Partnership Launch

Speech at the Volvo-NTU-SMRT Autonomous Bus Partnership Launch by SMRT President & Group CEO, Mr Desmond Kuek 


Your Excellency Håkan Jevrell, Swedish Ambassador to Singapore,

Mr Håkan Agnevall, President of the Volvo Bus Corporation,

Professor Subra Suresh, President, Nanyang Technological University,

Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen.

SMRT is delighted to be part of this collective effort to develop new urban mobility solutions through technology applications in electric and autonomous vehicles, and innovations in related engineering and maintenance capabilities.  

Today’s MOU signing is a landmark agreement for SMRT, in our ongoing efforts to stay future-ready with the latest urban mobility solutions to provide safe, efficient and comfortable journeys in Singapore’s unique operational setting.

SMRT already enjoys good relations with both our MOU partners, Volvo and the Nanyang Technological University, in mobility projects.  We have a substantial Volvo bus fleet that has proven to be highly reliable in operations. Beyond electric and autonomous vehicle platform development, SMRT has also been working with NTU on a pilot Mobility-as-a-Service initiative on campus.

We are proud of these relationships and look forward to bringing them to a new level.

The MOU paves the way for us to host operational trials for autonomous buses, and test out the command & control system required for operating such smart vehicles.

We will deploy engineers as part of a joint effort that will lead the proof-of-concept for the new autonomous vehicles at Volvo’s plant in Sweden. The trials will then move to Singapore for a further series of comprehensive trials, which will see the vehicles tested and evaluated on NTU’s campus, before their eventual deployment safely on public roads.

SMRT is fully supportive of the Government’s vision on future mobility. Autonomous buses are expected to be fielded in larger scale under the future land transport master plan. Such vehicles will allow optimal deployment of manpower, enabling buses to be deployed on the roads for safe, timely and efficient services, day and night, in all-weather and traffic conditions.

Our partnership with NTU and Volvo is a bold step in that direction.  We are excited to be part of that future of urban mobility. 

I wish the Volvo-NTU-SMRT team every success in this venture. Thank you.