SINGAPORE: A skateboard that could navigate its user home safely and double up as a shopping trolley could become a reality with the work of a new joint lab run by the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and global automotive and industrial components supplier Schaeffler Group.
Under an agreement signed on Monday (Mar 20), NTU and Schaeffler will research various aspects of personal urban mobility and intelligent transportation systems for mega-cities of the future. The lab has a combined funding of S$5 million over three years.
The partnership will also ride on the NTU-NXP Smart Mobility Test Bed, which consists of vehicles equipped with smart units and roadside units with video cameras mounted on street lamps throughout the NTU campus.
NTU vice-president (Research) and chief of staff Professor Lam Khin Yong said the collaboration will tackle transportation challenges for Singapore as the country moves into its Smart Nation vision.
“We aim to develop innovative personal transport solutions that will be safer and more efficient, which will support Singapore’s drive towards a car-lite society,” said Prof Lam.
Schaeffler's concepts for personal mobility include the E-Board, an electronic skateboard-like device that comes with a control stick, and an e-bike equipped with an automatic bicycle gearshift system. The lab will also look at adapting Schaeffler’s future-oriented four-wheel bio-hybrid - a vehicle powered by electric-assisted pedalling - for use in Singapore.
The new lab is the German company’s first outside Europe and part of the Schaeffler Hub for Advanced Research at NTU.
“Our long-term vision is to develop Singapore as a hub for research and innovation for urban mobility,” said Schaeffler Asia-Pacific CEO Andreas Schick.
“The proactive efforts from Singapore’s Government make it a highly conducive place for developing technologies for future mega-cities and Schaeffler is keen to tap into these opportunities, working together with the big and highly educated talent pool," he added.