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What can other cities learn from Singapore's extensive tech initiatives?

The blast of heat hits us like a punch as we step outside the aggressively air conditioned foyer at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. It is a solid 34 degrees centigrade with 74% humidity and luscious green foliage spills of out of the divider between the car park and the road. Stepping into the parked shuttle buggy is sucha a welcome respite from the elements, it is easy to miss the fact that it doesn’t have a driver.

Driverless car trials are running all over the world. This is one of the most progressive areas of transportation (despite recent hype about flying cars). Yet it is not the technology that makes them tricky to operate but the state of real world conditions that they have to function in.

Singaporean experiments may be different from elsewhere though, because its unique ecosystem allows it work on the whole shebang (including infrastructure). It has a bespoke test track, industrial partnerships with the likes of BMW and it plans to trial a new radio protocol [V2X] that allows cars to communicate directly with cars, as well as access points installed on street lamp poles. It even has a concrete roadmap to implement some driverless buses by 2018.

 

Why are Singapore’s digital ambitions so vast?

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