Cyberview to test autonomous vehicle on public road by year-end
Roni Shah Mustapha / cyberview.com.my

Upon approval, it will attract more high-tech mobility companies to invest their expertise in providing advanced tech to the vicinity

by AFIQ AZIZ/ pic credit: cyberview.com.my

CYBERVIEW Sdn Bhd is expected to have the first autonomous vehicle tested on a public road by year-end upon the approval of the Transport Ministry (MoT) and Sepang Municipal Council (MPSepang).

Cyberview head of business, city and communication Roni Shah Mustapha (picture) said the plan is in line with one of Cyberjaya’s new masterplan clusters of Smart Mobility.

Roni said currently, tech companies are only allowed to test autonomous vehicles on private roads, including within Cyberview headquarters.

He said with the approval, the government-owned tech firm is expected to attract more high-technology mobility companies to invest their expertise in providing advanced technology to the vicinity.

“We are looking at this kind of mobility, which can also serve as the first and last-mile connectivity in Cyberjaya. Currently, we already have e-scooter pilot projects as well as the Socar system.

“We are also talking to a few players on the potential of having autonomous buses that can be tested here, as well as the provision of electric buses which can be operated at a cheap rate in this area,” Roni said in the Cyberjaya’s New Masterplan: Driving Growth for the Global Tech Hub webinar yesterday.

Panellists were Roland Berger Sdn Bhd co-managing partner for South-East Asia John Low and Poladrone Sdn Bhd founder and CEO Jin Xi Cheong.

Roni said automobility would help to spur Cyberjaya’s mission to be a global tech hub, especially when the “green vehicles” could connect people into the Cyberjaya City Centre Mass Rapid Transit station, scheduled for operation in July 2022.

“The Movement Control Order has somehow affected our timeline, but we hope to push this for approval by the end of this year.

“We are closely communicating with MoT and the MPSepang,” he added.

Additionally, Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute — a unit under the International Trade and Industry Ministry — will be setting up a centre of excellence for future technology, which includes a testing centre for the autonomous vehicle.

Roni said any autonomous vehicle to be introduced or produced by a manufacturer in Malaysia must be tested and certified from this facility.

After being established for 23 years, Cyberview was recently given the mandate to spearhead Cyberjaya’s development and strengthen its position as a tech hub developer.

This time, the plan revolves around three new technology clusters — Smart Mobility, Smart Healthcare and Digital Creative.

Roland Berger, the consultancy firm that has been tasked to validate the new master plan, said for a start, the company has identified between 20 and 30 different types of players from each cluster to shift their operations to Cyberjaya.

“We have shortlisted them, comprising foreign and local firms,” Low said.

Low also stressed that it is paramount for Cyberjaya to have attractive facilities required by businesses such as an open or shared lab that can be used by small corporations.

This, he said will help to reduce the capital investment for the entrepreneurs for the research and development purposes.

Roni said geographically, Cyberjaya is divided into four districts — West is the centre to produce skilled talent, North focuses on smart city solutions, South is the centre for innovation for all three clusters and downtown Cyberjaya focuses on the adoption of technology for commercial activities and integration into community lifestyle.

He said all four districts come together with a singular aim of driving the development of Cyberjaya towards becoming a vibrant global tech hub.

“As for this new master plan, it is about how we work with the private parties and government agencies to develop a conducive ecosystem for tech players under the clusters.

“This plan will span for over 20 to 30 years,” Roni added.