Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan today (Feb 12) promised that he will be creating 8,000 public transport jobs by 2030. Although the Minister pulled the figures out from thin air, most of these jobs will be low-wage maintenance technicians to handle autonomous vehicles and rail lines:
“The adoption of other technologies such as smart sensors and robotic drones will also “increase productivity and improve workers’ lives”, especially in the maintenance line. For instance, railway maintenance can be enhanced using condition monitoring instruments. These smart sensors monitor the performance of the rail network, and flag out anomalies so that they can be fixed before a fault can occur.”
It is also unknown how many of the 8,000 projected number will be going to foreigners. Currently, foreign drivers from China and Malaysia form about 60% of the bus drivers in Singapore. Most IT analysts in Singapore are from India, while local engineers and IT talents go overseas for opportunities.
The PAP Minister also painted a utopia-like future where vehicles like bus and trains will be fully automated by 2030. Minister Khaw Boon Wan spoke about using drones to do maintenance work when Singapore does not possess such engineering technology:
“Robotic drones will also take over dangerous or repetitive tasks. For example, rail and road tunnel inspections can be performed with greater ease and accuracy using aerial drones. Aerial drones are also deployed at selected Thomson East-Coast Line worksites to help our engineers monitor construction progress and identify defects through aerial footage.”