It is a sci-fi fantasy for most of us – thinking of the day when transport services will be available at our beck-and-call. “Imagine that you have to drop off your kids before heading off to work. You open an app on your smartphone, where you put in details like your start and end destinations, pick up time and the money you are willing to pay. With these details, you then get a personalised pick-up with minimal waiting time. This concept of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) will be a reality in the near future,” says Dr Muhamad Azfar Bin Ramli, a Research Scientist from the Complex Systems Group (CxSy) of the Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC) at A*STAR.
The authorities in Singapore are gearing up to make this a reality. Moving in this direction, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore recently awarded nearly half a million dollars in contracts to two companies to carry out on-demand bus service on a trial basis. .
Making this vision a reality is a group of data scientists like Dr Ramli at A*STAR’s IHPC. These scientists use complex computational modelling and simulations to analyse and predict transport demand and supply; and study various research problems relating to future transport modes and challenges.