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Speech by SMRT President & Group CEO Mr Desmond Kuek at the MoU Signing between NTU, SMRT and 2getthere

16 April 2018

Good afternoon,

NTU President Professor Subra

LTA Group Director Public Transport Mr Yeo Teck Guan

2getthere CTO Mr Sjoerd van der Zwaan

Friends, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.

I am pleased to be here today to witness a new milestone in the collaboration between Nanyang Technological University (NTU), 2getthere and SMRT.  SMRT and NTU have been working together on many areas including our joint Corporate Laboratory, Electric Autonomous Buses and a Mobility-as-a-Service platform.  We are delighted to add another to this list as we sign an MOU to deploy and test the all-electric and fully automated Group Rapid Transit (GRT) Autonomous Vehicle (AV) in the NTU campus.



In recent years, the transport industry has witnessed considerable change. Ride and bike sharing services and personal mobility devices are becoming an increasingly important part of our transport landscape as they serve the diverse needs of our commuters. Mobility-as-a-Service platforms, Electric Vehicles and on-demand buses will similarly be part of the landscape soon.  Autonomous Vehicles are at the next forefront of the continuing wave of change.   

In partnership with others, SMRT has been actively pursuing these new innovations to better serve our commuters, living our vision of “moving people, enhancing lives”.



NTU is one of the leading research institutions in the field of AV technology in the world. NTU’s partnership with the LTA and JTC to launch CETRAN (Centre for the Testing and Research of Autonomous Vehicles) last year is testament to this. 

2getthere is a technology leader in the driverless transit system globally while SMRT is Singapore’s largest multi-modal public transport operator.  All parties have been investing in technology and services that will redefine the future mobility and transport industry in the years ahead.

The MoU that SMRT is signing today with NTU and 2getthere involves testing and operating an autonomous Group Rapid Transit (GRT) system on a service route that connects NTU’s halls of residences with the main academic areas, serving several hundred passengers daily. The collaboration also involves research and development in the areas of artificial intelligence, advanced sensors and fleet management technologies for application on Autonomous Vehicles.



This AV MOU is an extension of the Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) testbed that NTU, JTC and SMRT launched last February. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to work together and bring the MaaS testbed from idea to fruition.  Together, we have made significant progress in enhancing the accessibility, connectivity and commuter experience in NTU and Clean Tech Park.  I understand the team briefed the media earlier this afternoon on the significant progress we have made.  

I would like to thank NTU and JTC for spearheading the MaaS testbed with SMRT’s seed-funded start-up mobilityX.  Thank you for your tremendous support and for incubating MaaS on your premises.

Let me also thank our other partners 2getthere, Airbike, Continental, Obike, SWAT mobile and telepod for your contributions in providing commuters with access to various innovative first-and last-mile transport options.  

We have an exciting opportunity to fundamentally change and improve the lives of our commuters in Singapore. I wish everyone involved all the very best.

In closing, I wish the NTU-2getthere-SMRT team every success in this endeavour to deploy and test the GRT Autonomous Vehicle in NTU, as the first of its kind in Singapore.


Thank you.