ACO Tech and UTAR establish R&D Lab to advance smart mobility in Malaysia

Eight from left: Mr Li Pu and Prof Dato’ Ewe with UTAR and ACO Tech staff

ACO Tech and UTAR inaugurated a pioneering joint research and development (R&D) lab dedicated to advancing smart mobility at Sungai Long Campus on 30 January 2024. The lab will facilitate cutting-edge research on smart mobility solutions, leveraging advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computing to enhance the safety and convenience of on-road travel.

The collaborative lab will focus on three key fields in the initial phase i.e. vehicle-to-vehicle communications, smart parking, and smart mobility solutions. By pooling knowledge and expertise in these domains, the aim is to bring about breakthroughs that will contribute to safer, more efficient, and sustainable transportation systems. This reflects ACO Tech’s and UTAR’s commitment to addressing challenges in the realm of smart mobility and progressing Malaysia.

ACO Tech brings onboard expertise in developing vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication systems and experience in connected car technology, complementing UTAR’s proficiency in artificial intelligence, data analytics, and cloud computing for traffic management. Beyond the technological essence, the lab serves as an avenue to foster knowledge exchange and collaboration for a more comprehensive approach to reducing accidents and congestion.

The immediate focus will be to kick-start the lab’s operations. The team will actively engage with potential stakeholders, reaching out to industry partners and governmental bodies, while simultaneously developing a comprehensive funding proposal to secure additional resources for the ongoing success of the research project.

UTAR President Ir Prof Dato’ Dr Ewe Hong Tat said, “The collaboration between ACO Tech and UTAR is not just a partnership; it’s a synergy of knowledge, innovation, and practical application. It highlights the importance of bridging the gap between theoretical concepts and real-world challenges. The ACO Tech - UTAR Joint R&D Lab exemplifies the power of such collaborations, where academia nurtures the seeds of ideas, and industry helps them bloom into tangible solutions.”

Prof Dato’ Ewe delivering his speech

ACO Tech Chief Executive Officer Mr Li Pu commented, “We are always looking to strengthen our partnerships, particularly in the field of smart mobility-related research and development. The uniqueness of this collaboration lies in the synergy between ACO Tech's practical industry know-how and UTAR's R&D facilities. We will support the lab with ACO Tech’s proficiency in connected car technology while UTAR will bring their R&D capabilities to the table. We firmly believe this collaboration holds the potential to advance smart mobility solutions in Malaysia, setting new benchmarks for innovation and impact. We are excited about the prospects that this lab holds for realising smart mobility and believe it is a positive step towards a smarter, safer, and more connected future for Malaysian roads.”

Mr Li exciting about the prospects for ACO Tech and UTAR R&D lab

This latest milestone came after two years of successful close university-industry collaboration to facilitate joint projects involving collaborative research and sharing of expertise. Since the signing of their partnership on 13 April 2022, ACO Tech and UTAR have forged a robust collaborative relationship through various joint initiatives. These include a successful joint application for an international research grant, providing valuable industry learning internships for UTAR students at ACO Tech, and enrolling ACO Tech staff in postgraduate programmes at UTAR. Having nurtured a fruitful collaboration over the past two years, ACO Tech and UTAR are poised to strengthen their partnership with the establishment of this joint R&D lab, which symbolises the mutual commitment to leading the advancements in smart mobility.

Also present at the launching ceremony were ACO Tech Sdn Bhd Head of Business Mr Goh Meng Kuan, Head of Marketing Ms Allysha Juin, Marketing Manager Ms Victoria Tan, Content Manager Mr Daryl Loy, HR Specialist Ms Rhea Kaw and special guest, Xi’an New Silk Road Association for the Promotion of International Communication Chairman Ms Wang Yunzhen. UTAR representatives were Vice President for Internationalisation and Academic Development Ir Prof Dr Goi Bok Min, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) Deputy Dean for Student Development and Industrial Training Assoc Prof Ts Dr Lee Kim Ye, Office of International Affairs Director Assoc Prof Dr Lai Soon Onn, Centre for Extension Education Director Assoc Prof Ir Dr Lim Jee Hock and LKC FES Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Head Assoc Prof Ir Dr Chang Yoong Choon.

Mr Li Pu (left) and Prof Dato’ Dr Ewe (right) displaying the signed documents

Ms Rhea Kaw (left) receiving admission letters from Prof Dato’ Ewe (right), witnessed by Mr Li

Mr Li (left) and Prof Dato’ Ewe exchanging souvenirs


ACO Tech Sdn Bhd was established in 2019 as a joint venture between PROTON, ECARX and Altel Communications. The Malaysian company is a leading smart mobility provider in the Southeast Asian region. They pioneer in intelligent and connected lifestyles through their ideas and solutions, bringing five elements of the driver’s personal space and independent mobility – comfort, convenience, performance, security and safety. Moving at a progressive pace, they shape urban lifestyle through innovative connected car applications and solutions, namely intelligent driving HD map, big data, and IoT cloud.

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