KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 (Bernama) -- Malaysia is on track towards completing autonomous vehicle research and development (R&D) by 2025, said International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister, Datuk Chua Tee Yong.
He said in this regard, the automotive sector would remain competitive, with automated vehicles being in demand in the future.
"Malaysia is not far behind and several notable companies and universities have initiated several development projects relating to autonomous vehicles and its related technologies," Chua told reporters after officiating the 'Towards Autonomous Technologies' conference here, today.
Chua said the technological evolution will not only benefit the automotive sector, but also move forward the electrical and electronics (E&E) sector.
"The E&E sector has been a significant contributor to the nation's economy as the largest export earner for 2017 at RM343 billion or 36.7 per cent of the total export value," he said.
Chua also said the government under the Budget 2018 also provided a grant to spearhead the Industrial Revolution 4.0.
The grant of RM245 million under the Domestic Investment Strategic Fund is for the upgrading of Smart Manufacturing services.
For example, Univerisiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) has been conducting R&D activities on developing a fully automated vehicle since 2017 in collaboration with Moovita Pte Ltd.
The prototype was based on a seven-seater vehicle and made its public debut earlier this year.
"Besides the UTM and Moovita collaboration, other ongoing initiatives are by the Perak State Development Corporation under the Southern Perak District project, to position Tanjung Malim as the Southeast Asian leader in the net generation technology of Connected Autonomous Vehicles," Chua said.
Meanwhile, at the one-day conference organised by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), he encouraged ongoing engagement with industry players and stakeholders, as it would help in the constant progress and policy making of relevant sectors, including e-commerce.
"As long as there is the Internet of Things (IoTs), we believe there will always be new demand. Previously, a luggage bag had no electronic components incorporated in it, but today it has, and this is gradually developing.
"We are sure that Malaysian companies are aware of these developments. Their progress is evident.It is just that they are guarded optimism in their optimism in taking into account safety issues and such," said Chua.
He added that although progress and initiatives would be mainly driven by the private sector, the government would do its part by being an enabler and facilitator in accelerating developments, by providing incentives, grants and organising various engagement programmes.
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