Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Trial area for driverless vehicles to be expanded to whole of western Singapore

SINGAPORE — Residents in Jurong, Clementi and Chua Chu Kang may soon see driverless vehicles on their roads, as the Government is expanding the zone in which such vehicles can be tested.

On-road testing for autonomous vehicles will be expanded to all of western Singapore, said the Land Transport Authority.

On-road testing for autonomous vehicles will be expanded to all of western Singapore, said the Land Transport Authority.

Follow us on Instagram and Tiktok, and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

SINGAPORE — Residents in Jurong, Clementi and Chua Chu Kang may soon see driverless vehicles on their roads, as the Government is expanding the zone in which such vehicles can be tested.

Senior Minister of State for Transport, Dr Janil Puthucheary, announced on Thursday (Oct 24) that the geographical zone within which Autonomous Vehicles (AV) can apply to do testing will be expanded to a region covering all of western Singapore.

Currently, AVs are tested only in Buona Vista, CleanTech Park, Jurong Island, the Nanyang Technological University and Sentosa. 

Speaking at the Autonomous Mobility Summit at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, Dr Puthucheary said that the expansion was in response to feedback by the industry that a more varied testing environment will help accelerate the development of AV technology.

With the expansion, AV developers will be able to trial their vehicles on 1,000km of public roads across western Singapore, up from 200km now.

"This opens up a whole series of new and challenging scenarios for AV developers," said Dr Puthucheary. "If you are ready to test and improve your AVs' capabilities then this opens up many more circumstances and scenarios in which these AVs can be tested. We hope this takes us one step closer to achieving our vision of fully autonomous deployment."

However, Dr Puthucheary added that the expansion of trial zones will not be done "overnight" but will be "controlled and phased" over the next few years, subject to the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) approval.

He also stressed that the public's safety will not be compromised during AV trials. For instance, AVs will still need to pass "milestone tests" set by the LTA and the Traffic Police. The milestone tests are part of an AV testing and certification regime to ensure that AV developers conduct their trials in a safe manner.

Safety drivers will also be on the vehicles at all times during the trial, he added.

In a press release, the LTA said that it will engage local grassroots and community leaders ahead of time if there are plans to conduct AV trials in specific constituencies.

"As is the case today, any new trials will begin in a limited manner within a small area. Any further expansion in trials will only be permitted after the AVs pass stringent tests designed to demonstrate a higher level of competency."

Dr Puthucheary said that the trials at a town level will give the Government a better understanding of the infrastructure needed to deploy AVs in such areas.

Separately, the Land Transport Authority in a release on Thursday (Oct 24) said that it was working closely with the industry to develop training programmes to equip public bus captains with the skills to take on new roles when autonomous buses are eventually deployed here. 

One such role is that of a safety operator who will be able to take over immediate control of the autonomous bus should the need arise, as well as remotely monitor the operation of the autonomous bus to ensure public safety. 

About 100 bus captains will be trained over the next few years in preparation for the planned pilot deployment of autonomous buses in Punggol, Tengah and Jurong Innovation District in the early 2020s.

More will be trained when autonomous buses are introduced on a larger scale, said LTA. 

Related topics

autonomous vehicle Land Transport Authority transport

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.