Media Release - SMRT collaborates with A*STAR on translational research projects to enhance productivity, safety and sustainability in land transport

4 November 2022


SMRT collaborates with A*STAR on translational research projects to enhance productivity, safety and sustainability in land transport


Collaboration focuses on translating scientific and technological research knowledge into engineering enhancements


  1. SMRT Corporation Ltd (SMRT) today announced that it will work together with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) on translational research projects that can be deployed for the improvement of productivity, safety and sustainability within Singapore’s transport industry.


  1. SMRT embarked on the collaboration to leverage A*STAR’s capabilities in Research & Development (R&D) and technologies such as AI, intelligent automation and data analytics, to co-innovate cost-effective solutions to improve Singapore’s public transport system, in terms of the public’s safety, security and experience, as well as train system’s reliability.  


  1. Areas that will be explored under the collaboration include:

(1) Productivity enhancements, for transport systems’ Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS)

(2) Safety enhancements, for staff safety and human factors management

(3) Sustainability enhancements, for reduction of adverse environmental impact in Operations and Maintenance (O&M)


  1. One potential project is the development of a condition-monitoring system for more effective and efficient diagnostic inspections of the waveguide used for train signalling. The inspection and maintenance of the waveguide is a labour-intensive process that may only be carried out during night engineering hours. One cycle of fleet-wide functional checks across the entire network takes up to 380 nights and 6,000 man-hours. Having a condition-monitoring system would potentially reduce the labour work required and be more effective to detect faults.  


  1. Another project under consideration seeks to enhance station operations using technologies, in the areas such as detection of intrusion and unusual behaviours, potential hazards and suspicious objects. This aims to enhance commuters’ safety, security and experience, while ensuring efficient use of labour.


  1. The two organisations are working together on the projects under a Master Research Collaboration Agreement (MRCA) that is valid till 2025.


  1. Mr Tan Peng Kuan, President of SMRT Engineering said: “We are excited to partner A*STAR to apply their translational research to solve SMRT’s real-life challenges. A*STAR has deep research strengths that are useful for a public transport operator like SMRT. Our collaboration with A*STAR will help us continue building capabilities for the reliability, safety and productivity of our operations and maintenance. As projects are developed and bear fruit, we are confident they will contribute to the improvement of Singapore’s public transport system.”


  1. Mr Dennis Ling, Executive Director, Innovation & Enterprise, A*STAR said: “We are pleased to collaborate with SMRT to co-innovate solutions and foster new engineering capabilities within Singapore’s public transport system.”