SMRT Collaborates with A*STAR to Enhance Productivity, Safety, and Sustainability in Land Transport

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Singapore has created a best-in-class public transport system, which is accessible, efficient, convenient, sustainable, and at the same time affordable.

Singapore has created a best-in-class public transport system, which is accessible, efficient, convenient, sustainable, and at the same time affordable. A recent report said the convenience and flexibility of the Singaporean ticketing system, using the EZ-Link card, is one of the "outstanding" features. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) and transport operators are working together to improve rail reliability and performance even more. Recently, Singaporean public transport operator, SMRT Corporation partnered with the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*Star) to develop technologies to improve Singapore's transport network reliability and performance.

How SMRT and A*STAR Collaboration Will Benefits People

SMRT embarked on a five-year agreement with A*STAR to leverage its capabilities in Research Development (RD) and technologies such as AI, intelligent automation, and data analytics. This collaboration will help SMRT to innovate cost-effective solutions to improve Singapore’s public transport system, in terms of the public’s safety, reliability, security, and experience.

SMRT and A*STAR Upcoming Projects

• SMRT and A*STAR will together develop a condition-monitoring system for more effective and efficient diagnostic inspections of the waveguide. Having a condition-monitoring system would potentially reduce the labour work required and be more effective to detect faults. 

• They will enhance station operations using technologies, such as the detection of intrusion and unusual behaviours, potential hazards, and suspicious objects.

• For sustainability enhancements, SMRT and A*STAR will look into technologies and processes for the reduction of adverse environmental impact in Operations and Maintenance (OM).

Mr. Tan Peng Kuan, President of SMRT Engineering said: “We are excited to partner with 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. As projects are developed and bear fruit, we are confident they will contribute to the improvement of Singapore’s public transport system.

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

Commenting on the recent efforts taken by SMRT to improve rail performance, SMRT CEO, Ngien Hoon Ping, said: “Through a strong partnership, sincere engagement, and efficient planning, we will continue to renew and re-engineer our railway infrastructure, trains systems, and operations to achieve operational and service excellence.”


This five-year agreement between SMRT and A*STAR will help them to co-innovate solutions and foster new engineering capabilities within Singapore’s public transport system. The scientific and technological research knowledge of A*STAR will enable SMRT to make engineering enhancements and bring safety, sustainability, and reliability to the country’s transport network.