Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s son, Li Hongyi, recently spoke about how technology is impacting transport at a conference focusing on e-commerce, payments, banking and retail, Seamless Asia.
The son of Lee and state-owned wealth fund Temasek’s CEO Ho Ching, Hongyi presently serves as deputy director of product and engineering at the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech). Hongyi is one of the key developers behind Parking.sg -an application that allows drivers in Singapore to pay for parking digitally.
Having previously been employed at Google, the MIT graduate has been with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore for over 4 years, since December 2013. According to his LinkedIn profile, Hongyi is now in charge of increasing interest in computer science education in Singapore, redesigning and reimplementing data.gov.sg, and improving the transport network using sensors and optimisation algorithms.
Touching on how the launch of Parking.sg could be improved, the grandson of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew also spoke about a new invention that Govtech is working on that aims to improve the efficiency of transport in Singapore.
The invention, an application called Beeline, is a crowdsourcing platform for commuters to “activate more direct, private express bus routes that cater to their travel needs, especially during peak periods,” according to GovTech’s website.
Elaborating at Seamless Asia, Hongyi said that the approaches for transport in Singapore has been more focused on connectivity in the past, as opposed to efficiency. This means that commuters may have to have a longer travel time since bus lines will make multiple stops to serve a wider area of commuters.
Explaining that “as the country grows, it doesn’t make sense for 10 buses to go everywhere,” Hongyi said that the new Beeline application aims to cut down travel times from say 60 minutes to 30 minutes, before further reducing travel times to say 10 minutes.