Joint News Release by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), JTC & NTU - Paving the Way for the Safe and Effective Deployment of Self-driving Vehicles in Singapore

News Releases
1 Aug 2016

To enable Singapore to move closer to its goal of deploying self-driving vehicles (SDVs) for shared transport, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and JTC, in partnership with the Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore), launched the Centre of Excellence for Testing & Research of AVs – NTU (CETRAN) and Test Circuit at CleanTech Park today.

2          CETRAN will spearhead the development of testing requirements for SDVs, as there is no existing international standard. This would allow SDVs to be integrated with existing road traffic, which is an important step for widespread deployment of SDVs. These efforts will be supported by the 1.8-ha CETRAN Test Circuit, jointly developed by LTA and JTC to provide a simulated road environment for the testing of SDVs prior to their deployment on public roads.

3          Senior Minister of State for Transport Mrs Josephine Teo, who graced the launch ceremony, said: “Although many countries and cities are testing self-driving vehicles, we have yet to see international standards and regulations suitable for large-scale deployment of SDVs. The launch of CETRAN and the Test Circuit will put Singapore at the global forefront to develop such standards, to safely integrate SDVs into our transport system. It’s also a significant step towards realising our vision of SDVs being used for first- and last-mile connectivity in our towns.”

Test Circuit to Facilitate SDV Testing in Local Environment

4          NTU will lead research activities at CETRAN, operate the Test Circuit and evaluate the SDV prototypes to be tested here. For example, the prototypes must display the ability to manoeuvre in local conditions such as traffic rules, traffic behaviour, road design and our tropical climate. The Test Circuit will also be open to industry players for the development and testing of their own SDVs as they work towards meeting the standards set by CETRAN. The Test Circuit is expected to be operational in the second half of 2017. Please refer to Annex A for an artist’s impression of the Test Circuit. 

5          Said LTA’s Chief Executive Mr Chew Men Leong, “Singapore has the potential to lead in the setting of regulatory standards to test and certify SDVs for use on public roads. The establishment of CETRAN is another step towards creating an ideal eco-system to make Singapore an attractive place for both local and international parties to test and receive certification for, and to trial and deploy SDVs. This will take us one step closer to being one of the first cities in the world to deploy SDV mobility concepts, on a shared use basis to form an integral part of our public transport system, thus transforming the way we travel and live.”

6          CETRAN and the CETRAN Test Circuit will be located at CleanTech Park in the Jurong Innovation District, a large-scale next-generation district that will be home to new growth areas for Singapore. Apart from being an eco-business and technology park clustering research institutes and companies in the research, innovation and commercialisation of sustainable solutions, CleanTech Park also serves as a living lab for the test-bedding of innovative solutions, thus providing the ideal environment for the testing and development of SDV technology. Please refer to Annex B for more information on CleanTech Park.

7          “The location of CETRAN and the CETRAN Test Circuit at the CleanTech Park represents a step forward for the future adoption of SDV technology in Singapore. We have started to trial SDVs at one-north and CleanTech Park, and are looking at extending such trials to more of our industrial and business parks. Moving forward, we also welcome more industry partnerships to develop and implement future mobility solutions beyond SDVs to further enhance the connectivity within our industrial parks and to major transport nodes,” said Mr Png Cheong Boon, JTC Chief Executive Officer.

8          NTU Chief of Staff and Vice-President (Research) Professor Lam Khin Yong said, “NTU’s strong track record of engineering and industry collaboration in the area of electric and self-driving vehicles forms a solid foundation for the new Centre and Test Circuit. NTU will lend its internationally recognised research expertise to the Centre in all important aspects of self-driving vehicles, such as its guidance and decision systems and inbuilt safety measures.”

9          CETRAN will house an expert research team formed by NTU that will perform testing in a computer-simulated environment representative of Singapore’s traffic conditions, to complement the tests being performed in the test circuit. The LTA-NTU agreement will see CETRAN being operated by NTU for a period of five years, during which NTU will collaborate with various international Testing, Inspection and Certification bodies, research institutions and industry partners on global standards and test requirements. These include BMW Group, testing body TÜV SÜD, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and TUM CREATE – a joint research collaboration between NTU and the Technical University of Munich.