Autonomous vehicle (AV) trials first began in July 2015 and have made good progress over the last 24 months. In September 2016, LTA doubled the length of the test routes within one-north from 6km to 12km, after AV trial participants showed their capabilities in navigating mixed traffic environments. Since then, the AV trial participants have demonstrated a readiness to advance their capabilities to more on-road scenarios in an expanded test area.
2. As such, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will expand the current AV test bed in one-north on 23 June 2017, to neighbouring areas such as the National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Science Park 1 and 2, Dover and Buona Vista. These areas present a larger test bed, and will add another 55km to the existing AV trial routes. This will allow AV trial participants to experience more on-road scenarios which will help accelerate technology development.
3. With effect from today, AV trial participants will be able to conduct testing in NUS and Singapore Science Park 1 and 2. To conduct trials in the mixed-use, residential estates in Dover and Buona Vista, the trial participants will first be required to demonstrate to LTA and the Traffic Police their readiness to handle more dynamic traffic environments in autonomous mode. Please refer to Annex A for a map of the expanded AV test bed.
Safety as a Priority
4. To inform the public, signboards will be put up in the test areas to indicate that trials are being carried out. All AV test vehicles will continue to sport decals and markings for easy recognition by road users.
5. Under the Road Traffic Act, LTA is empowered to regulate AV trials to safeguard the safety of road users. For example, all test vehicles are required to undergo a thorough vehicle safety assessment before they are approved for use in on-road trials. Test vehicles can only be driven in autonomous mode within the approved test-site. All test vehicles are also required to have a qualified safety driver who is ready to take over control of the vehicle should the need arise, until AV trial participants demonstrate that their technology is ready for fully-autonomous operations. In addition, all trial participants are required to have third-party insurance for their test vehicles, and will have to share data from their trials with LTA to facilitate the evaluation of trials.
6. “To achieve our car-lite vision, it is imperative that we facilitate and pave the way for the future deployment of shared autonomous transport modes. Deploying AVs for shared transport will help enhance our first- and last-mile commute and bring greater mobility to the elderly and other commuters who may have difficulties in taking public transport today. Public safety remains our topmost priority and we will continue to work closely with our partner agencies and AV trial participants to ensure the safe and effective conduct of AV trials,” said LTA’s Chief Technology Officer, Mr Lam Wee Shann.
Annex A: Map of the expanded AV test bed