The SingAuto model is put through the paces in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: It’s electric, can operate via self-driving, and offers specialized logistics capability for products that need to be kept refrigerated.

This is the concept vehicle from Singapore-based SingAuto, which is targeting the UAE as launch market for the model.

The ‘plans (are) to introduce our vehicle by late next year,” said Chris Chen, founder and CEO. “We are working on designing a vehicle for the global market, taking into account different regional regulations and communication requirements.

“To ensure compliance, we are applying the QCAT (Quality, Compliance, and Assurance Toolkit) framework to each region.”

The UAE has been a magnet for a new generation of possible mass transport solutions, whether that’s air taxi services using eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft, ‘autonomous’ driving solutions, and others that are still very much in the nascent phase. Abu Dhabi, in fact, has a standalone cluster – SAVI - to germinate possibilities around smart transportation.

“We are a startup company with a clear plan,” said Chen. “We plan to introduce our car in the UAE - followed by rigorous testing to meet regulatory requirements. After obtaining the necessary certifications, we aim to sell the car.

“Entering a specific market involves more than just passing product and regulatory tests. We have specific specifications to validate the car’s performance and materials under these extreme conditions.”

Put concept to practice

This week, SingAuto put the concept model through a ride in Abu Dhabi. On the self-driving side of things, ‘While we are exploring the potential for fully autonomous vehicles (with no people inside), there are many factors to consider, including technology readiness, regulatory compliance, and societal acceptance,” said Chen.

“From a technological standpoint, it is feasible. However, regulatory and customer concerns must also be addressed.

“To bridge this gap, we offer Level 2 (L2) and Level 3 (L3) autonomous driving features. These help drivers feel more comfortable and in control of the vehicle. In specific areas, it is already possible to use automated driving technologies, as we are demonstrating here.”

SingAuto’s cockpit
The startup company’s ‘intelligent cockpit’ technology is a ‘mobile office’ for drivers. It comes with surround screens and smart entertainment systems. The domain controller is based on Nvidia and Horizon’s high-computing system-on-a-chip products.

SingAuto had secured a $45 million in Series A funding, with a ‘significant investment from a UAE-based firm’.