BMW Group and NTU set up first joint research lab in Southeast Asia

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay News | Latest Industry News

New Future Mobility Research Lab to develop innovative mobility concepts.

BMW Group and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) today launched the joint Future Mobility Research Lab, the first for BMW Group in Southeast Asia.

GB1_7447_BMW Group-NTU Signing Ceremony
This new research facility will study and develop key areas relating to future transportation, which includes advanced battery materials for electric vehicles, human-machine interfaces, and mobility patterns and concepts. A key focus will see how research outcomes can benefit the Asian market based on the needs of the region.

NTU now joins seven other prestigious universities such as the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Georgia Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as partners to the BMW Group in setting up joint labs.

Under the ambit of advanced battery materials and human-machine interfaces, the BMW Group-NTU initiative aims to find solutions to key transport requirements in the most sustainable way possible, especially in the area of electric vehicles, where battery safety, efficiency and being environmentally-friendly is of utmost importance.

The study of mobility patterns and concepts will be focused on consumer behaviour in new mobility offerings for mega-cities, namely for multi-modal transportation and car sharing. One such area is the development of advanced routing algorithms so as to make the daily commute more comfortable.

Located at NTU’s Research Techno Plaza, the new joint lab will start off with five scientists and six PhD student researchers. It will be led by Dr Mirjam Storim, Coordinator of University Cooperations of BMW Group and Professor Subodh Mhaisalkar, Director of the Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).

BMW AG’s Senior Vice President, Dr Kay Segler, said BMW Group is pleased to work with NTU, one of the world’s leading technological universities. “Singapore has an abundance of top talents and think-tanks, such as the researchers from NTU whom we are confident will be able to contribute vastly to this study,” Dr Segler said.

“Singapore offers the setting of a highly-dense, urbanised mega-city, and is coincidentally inhabited with a highly sophisticated and tech-savvy population. By fulfilling the two key criteria that Future Mobility solutions are targeted at, Singapore became a natural choice for us to conduct this study in.”

NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson said that with more than 70 per cent of world’s population expected to flock to global megacities by 2050, it is a scenario that emphasises the importance of mobility research.

“Our partnership with a global leader such as BMW Group is testament to NTU’s strength in electromobility, transport and innovation. As a fast-rising global university with a focus in sustainability research, we are confident this collaboration, the first such in Southeast Asia, will result in important discoveries in sustainable mobility and future motoring.”

“We look forward to working together with the BMW Group in new research areas including developing advanced routing algorithms to make commutes more comfortable, ensuring battery safety for electric vehicles as well as next generation fail-safe systems,” Prof Andersson said. “This collaboration with BMW Group is another endorsement of NTU’s strengths in applied research and our history of strong partnerships with industry leaders such as Rolls-Royce, Bosch and Vestas.”

CEO of the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore, Professor Low Teck Seng, who was the Guest-of-Honour for the event, said “NTU’s collaboration with BMW Group is another milestone in Singapore’s research landscape”.

“Industry partnerships for research such as the BMW Group and NTU joint lab, is aligned with Singapore’s vision of being a global research hub,” said Prof Low.

“Through such collaborations, sustainable solutions can be found for the environmental challenges of this century, and I’m hopeful research breakthroughs for future mobility will be borne from the combined efforts and expertise of both institutions.”

Projects by the joint lab will leverage the BMW Group’s expertise in automotive and mobility, as well as NTU’s research strengths, particularly that of ERI@N which carries out cutting-edge research in solar cells and other renewables, electric vehicles, energy and power systems, and battery technology in collaboration with industry.

BMW i – the foundation for Future Mobility
As the world and the sphere of personal mobility experience a period of radical environmental, economic and social change, it has led to global developments such as climate change, dwindling natural resources and increasing urbanization. The calls for a new balance between the demands of the planet and the desires of the individual have never been higher, and with it the need for greater sustainability via Future Mobility, which BMW Group has translated, in the form of BMW i, Efficient Dynamics and Connected Drive technology.

BMW i is a newly established sub-brand that marks the initial step towards Future Mobility, while Efficient Dynamics is the technology that helps to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emission, but at the same time, increases performance to fulfill BMW’s promise of delivering Sheer Driving Pleasure. Meanwhile, the Connected Drive technology is an intelligent link-up between the driver, his car and the outside world to achieve greater safety, convenience and infotainment. Both Efficient Dynamics and Connected Drive serve as the foundation for Future Mobility.

Globally, BMW Group is also working with other prestigious varsities like TUM and Massachusetts Institute of Technology on various research topics under Future Mobility collaborations. Through such partnerships, BMW Group hopes to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with the universities whereby knowledge can be shared and transferred both ways.

Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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