When asked what “The Future” looks like, most people conjure a utopian filled with flying cars, full automation of jobs and hoverboards. One Malaysian with big dreams is in the midst of changing that mental image from wistful fantasy into actionable reality. Hairi Zamzuri from eMooVit is leading the change through autonomous vehicle technology in Malaysia with help and support from Futurise Centre.
EMooVit aims to revolutionise logistics for both the general population and industrial purposes by making autonomous vehicles safe and viable for mass utilisation. Aspiring to change the way cities undergo urban regeneration, particularly in transportation, the company sees their biggest goal as of now in solving the first and last mile connectivity by autonomous vehicle.
Their solution lies in covering the connectivity around 10 km radius to existing train stations and transportation hubs. By doing this, seamless integration between one place to another is made possible without hitches. In a world that is moving forward with sustainable practices and efficiency, autonomous vehicles are an obvious way forward.
By extension as well, eMooVit’s solution is also good news for ride-hailing companies as autonomous vehicles will provide services at huge economies of scale, less human errors and operating cost. Industrial logistics companies would also benefit from using autonomous vehicles for their operations as these vehicles can go on without stops and work at any hour of the day.
eMooVit began its operations in Johor Bahru during the last quarter of 2016. Believing in Cyberjaya’s good prospects with regards to holistic technological ecosystem and opportunities, the team decided to move their base there with hopes of making full use of the talent pool and ecosystem that is unique to the Smart City of Malaysia.
They kickstarted their entrepreneurial journey with 3 staff comprising of Hairi’s previous postgraduate students from his stint at University of Technology, Malaysia (UTM). Now, the team is 10 employees strong with expectations of growing double in size by next year. Hairi has been lucky that his previous academic career in UTM as an associate professor allows him to hire the creme de la creme of talent from the university, each of eMooVit’s engineers have an average of 5 years of experience in this relatively new industry.
The search for talented individuals in the autonomous vehicle industry is actually one of the biggest challenges to the company, second only to stifling regulations that’s current in place. To work around the challenge, eMooVit and Hairi has decided to grow and train these talents locally, starting from UTM. The collaboration with the university has also allowed highly talented postgraduates from their institution a chance in a lifetime at a job that grooms them to their full potential.
Unfortunately, the fight against regulations is an even bigger battle for the company as it is difficult for their technology to be tested and operated with the current legislation in place. According to Hairi, “Our tech are ready to be commercialize however we need to do a lot of testing and piloting in order for us to increase the robustness of our solutions. However, since AV is new in malaysia, we are not allowed to do testing in public road due to regulation. Therefore, as a partner, Futurise will help us to engage to government agency to solve this issue”.
When asked how he envisions the world to be in the next 10 years, Hairi muses that new technology is being discovered and explored everyday with aims of helping people with their daily life. He hopes these new technologies will help people focus on more meaningful ventures and free society from repetitive and potential hazardous tasks.
Adding on an advice for budding techpreneurs in Malaysia, he smiles as he shares his parting advice, “Keep on the good fight and remember that who else will build a better, brighter future for Malaysia if not her own people?”