Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd Aims for High Growth in the Autonomous Vehicle Market

Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (SGX: S63) is an engineering conglomerate with a wide variety of business interests.

As a quick background, ST Engineering organises its business into four main divisions: aerospace, electronics, land systems, and marine. Some divisions may have more potential than others.

In ST Engineering’s 2017 first quarter earnings presentation, its chief executive, Vincent Chong, spoke about the potential of autonomous vehicles in its land systems division:

“We made progress on the autonomous vehicle segment, taking a lead role to develop solutions that would transform urban transportation connectivity for Singapore. The autonomous vehicle segment is one of the higher growth areas which we have identified along with robotics and cybersecurity, where we can play to our strength, leveraging our domain expertise and engineering capabilities.”

ST Kinetics, the conglomerate’s land systems and specialty vehicles arm, is taking the lead in the autonomous vehicle efforts.

Partnering the government

In early April this year, ST Kinetics signed a partnership agreement with Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) to develop driverless buses. Chong said:

“We also signed agreements with the Ministry of Transport — Land Transport Authority and Sentosa corporation to develop autonomous bus and mobility on-demand vehicles or MODV for short.”

The autonomous buses will feature 4G and wifi connectivity, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication capability, perception sensors, and radar. More information can be found here.

Chong explained why ST Engineering is interested in developing buses and not cars:

“So why autonomous bus and not driverless cars?

We have taken a strategic view to focus on the development of autonomous buses as a mode of mass transportation to complement the train system, the core of Singapore’s public transport system.

This will help address the unique challenges which Singapore faces, the land and labor constraints. It also supports Singapore’s vision for a car-lite future and a public transport system that will provide a high level of connectivity, speed and comfort.”

Eye on the prize

Ultimately, ST Engineering is not looking at the Singapore market alone. Chong added:

“Now we do this with the intent of scaling up and exporting our solutions eventually beyond the shores of Singapore.

Investors will have to observe how ST Engineering’s efforts in autonomous vehicles develop and how successful the company can be.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Chin Hui Leong doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.