Gov’t policies for new tech among challenges faced by transport sector

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

Local transport executives have cited government adaptability – or inadaptability – to current digital disruptions as another challenge being faced by the transport and logistics sector in the Philippines.

Uber PH general manager Lawrence Cua during the launch of uberPOOL service in 2016

Uber PH general manager Lawrence Cua during the launch of uberPOOL service in 2016

Government policies covering new technologies were among the subjects tackled during the “Smart Transport and Logistics Panel” discussion at the 15th Edition of the Asia IoT Business Platform held from August 1-2, 2017 at the Manila Marriot Hotel in Pasay City.

The event aimed to generate insights from both solution providers and Filipino end-users on the implementation of IoT initiatives in businesses and organization across industry verticals in order to identify challenges and trends, and provide a platform for networking.

Laurence Cua, general manager of Uber Philippines, acknowledged the rapid progression of technology, especially with the growing popularity of self-driving cars and trucks in other parts of the world.

However, Cua was quick to add that consumer and enterprise adoption are not really the problem. “I would be more worried about regulatory adoption and how quickly can our government embrace these changes,” he noted.

“Any government I think would always have a hard time to catch up with technology and that’s okay. But that is a challenge that we need to recognize,” he added.

For Gabriel David, chief information officer of 2GO Group, the idea of drones flying over Makati City for on-demand pick-up and delivery service is not a farfetched idea.

“All these will eventually come. We could somehow build the infrastructure in terms of the roads to prepare for these types of truck technologies that will come in,” David said.

What is important, he added, is how government policies can adapt to these huge strides in transport technology which are happening today.

“We build toward influencing and convincing government officials that this is the right way to go,” Cua said, “whether it’s self-driving trucks, self-driving cars, or other improvements in the future.”

Based on the recent Asean Enterprise IoT Survey among IT leaders in the region, 73.3% of businesses and organizations in the region are currently exploring IoT solutions to help them increase productivity, reduce long-term operational costs, and improve customer relationships.

However, the same study indicated that only 7% of Asean businesses and organizations have benefited from their IoT efforts due to cost, incompatibility and legacy systems, and complexity.

Aside from the panel discussions, the 15th Edition of the Asia IoT Business Platform in Manila also held exhibitions by Robustel Technologies, DRVR, Avalue Technology, iSAP, Navagis, Dassault Systemes, and other global IT companies.

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