TravelSpirit ASEAN

TravelSpirit ASEAN aims to promote the TravelSpirit vision of openness and accessibility in the region.

ASEAN features the highest urban population density in the world, and an open internet of mobility can have a profound impact on a very large proportion of humanity.

The pace of innovation here is high, especially in automotive technologies as well as personal mobility options. Fostering a spirit of openness in this ecosystem represents an opportunity to embed TravelSpirit values from a very early stage in product and service development cycles.

ASEAN is also a culturally diverse part of the world and therefore can serve as a robust test of the portability of innovations that may come out of the TravelSpirit initiative.

The challenges in mobility in the region vary radically from one city to the next, Jakarta is different from Singapore or Manila or Kuala Lumpur. Geography also plays an important role here: the island states of the Philippines and Indonesia have to somehow bring about economic integration across many little islands. Imagine trying to plan a journey from Bali to Jakarta without resorting to air travel and the benefits of having a single Mobility-as-a-Service infrastructure, with open sharing of information across all modes of transport, becomes obvious.

Most importantly, TravelSpirit initiatives can move ASEAN closer to an ultimate goal of regional integration, allowing mobility and logistics to become border-free.

The chair is based in Singapore, at the CREATE campus of the National Research Foundation. Singapore is a hotbed of development in connected and autonomous vehicles, with a dedicated test site for AV technologies at the Nanyang Technical University. International research institutions such as National University of Singapore, ETH Zurich, MIT and TU Munich collaborate with local authorities and tech firms to develop both hardware technologies as well as planning and urban design capabilities.

Singapore is a great exporter of urban planning and design, consequently embedding principles of openness into design here has the potential to make its way into many cities in countries across the world. 

The ultimate vision in Singapore is that AVs promise to turn the island into a cooler, sustainable, ‘car-lite’ haven, making private vehicle ownership largely redundant.This vision clearly aligns with TravelSpirit objectives, as true Mobility-as-a-Service capable of competing with the convenience and comfort of private cars can only be possible if there is seamless integration across modes, with options that can cater to all values-of-time. 

TravelSpirit ASEAN endeavours to create awareness of these principles among key stakeholders here and use Singapore’s nexus status to full advantage. One of our key activities is to create connections, especially between east and west. Moreover, being based out of a research institution, we are well positioned to create connections to leading R&D capabilities here.

As TravelSpirit innovations move closer to implementation, we hope to play an increasingly important role in testing these ideas in one of the most pro-active mobility ecosystems in the world.

To learn more about, and join TravelSpirit ASEAN please contact the Chair, Dr. Pieter J. Fourie.