1. Contactless immigration clearance
Coming home from your travels abroad could be an even easier experience starting from 2022 as Singapore citizens and permanent residents will no longer need to produce their passports and can simply breeze through immigration lanes. These new automated lanes will be equipped with technology to verify a traveller’s identity through iris and facial image scans. Foreign visitors will also be able to use the automated immigration lanes to perform self-clearance.
Expert view: Stephanie Davis, Singapore country director, Google
“I think we can count on the country to be adaptable to trends. The country’s position as a technological hub for the region [and] its reputation as a trusted place for technology to flourish, will help close the gap between SMEs and larger corporations. I believe the Singapore of the future will be home to some of the most technologically savvy people in the world.”
“Already in the area of artificial intelligence (AI) innovation we have a national programme growing the local AI talent, building an AI ecosystem and helping companies adopt it in their businesses. It is integral for Singapore to develop an education infrastructure that supports AI careers. Only then can we come up with solutions for important global issues and make the benefits of this technology available to tackle humanity’s many challenges – from eradicating dengue mosquitoes to helping [those] with accessibility needs.”
2. Flying taxis
By 2025, you could be getting around Singapore by air taxi. German aircraft manufacturer Volocopter will begin private flight tests for its unmanned aircraft later this year. These electrically powered, emission-free vehicles are based on drone technology and designed to fly within cities. Each aircraft can carry two, over a distance of 30km, with a maximum airspeed of 100km/h.
280 kilometres: Length of Singapore’s rail network by 2021
3. Garden state
Known for its solar-powered Supertrees, Gardens by the Bay continues its sustainability efforts. The verdant attraction is trialling a system that will convert garden waste into thermal energy. And come 2021, the Founders’ Memorial MRT station will take visitors to the planned monument at Bay East Garden – so you can skip the cab.
4. A driverless transport network
The use of driverless buses looks set to be the future of Singapore’s public transport system. Since the first test centre for autonomous vehicles was set up in 2017, three districts have now been highlighted as test areas for driverless buses beginning in 2022. For the mobility-impaired, barrier-free features will also be introduced, and by 2020, all bus stops and public buses will be accessible by wheelchair.
700 kilometres: Planned extent of island-wide cycle path network by 2030
llustration by André Wee
This article was originally published in the August 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine