Autonomous Vehicles

This is an image of AVs travelling with pedestrians on roads

Set to transform land transport in Singapore, Autonomous Vehicle (AV) technology will open up new mobility options for commuters and allow goods delivery and utility operations such as road sweeping to be done more efficiently. Additionally, it will create new job opportunities in the land transport industry. AVs will be an important part of Singapore’s Smart Mobility solutions, improving our public transport commute in Singapore’s journey to becoming a Smart Nation.

Why AVs?

Singapore is increasingly facing urban mobility challenges such as land and manpower constraints, an ageing population, and rising expectations for a comprehensive and efficient public transport system. Innovative mobility solutions, through technology such as AVs, can help us overcome these challenges and needs effectively and sustainably.

Through on-demand and dynamically routed autonomous bus and shuttle services, first-and-last mile (FLM) connectivity can be enhanced. This makes public transport more convenient and accessible for commuters, especially for the elderly and those with different transport needs (such as persons with disabilities and families with young children). AVs will also allow our public transport system to be more sustainable by allowing us to better deploy our scarce manpower resources.

In the coming years, as AVs are progressively introduced into our roads, we envision that AVs can bring about the following benefits:

This is an icon of an AV car

Less Accidents due to Human Errors

AVs have high fidelity sensors as their ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’ to sense their surroundings and enable them to navigate strictly according to traffic rules. They are expected to drive safer and be more alert than a human driver.

This is an icon of a city

Optimal Use of Road Space

AVs will allow better utilisation of available road space by optimising routing through intelligent algorithmic planning, and enabling more logistic transportation and utility operations to be performed during off-peak hours such as at night.

This is an icon of people

Creation of New Job Roles

The introduction of AVs will create new job roles such as remote fleet controllers, technicians, engineers and data scientists.

Singapore’s AV journey started in 2014 with the set up of the Committee on Autonomous Road Transport for Singapore (CARTS). Comprising members from both public and private sectors, it was formed with the goal of transforming our land transport through the deployment of AVs.

Since then, guided by our AV deployment roadmap, LTA has been taking a calibrated and phased approach in trialling and deploying AVs in Singapore, making sure that AVs are safe and publicly accepted before we progress to the next stages of the roadmap. Small-scale AV trials have also been taking place in test-beds such as one-north, Jurong Island, NUS, and Sentosa.

This is an image of the deployment roadmap for AVs

For the next phase of AV deployment, LTA will pilot the deployment of autonomous buses and autonomous on-demand shuttles in Punggol, Tengah and the Jurong Innovation District in the early 2020s.

The autonomous buses and shuttles will complement our existing public transport system. During the pilot, the autonomous bus services will run alongside existing services, while the autonomous shuttles will provide on-demand, first-and-last-mile connection services to MRT stations and bus interchanges for our residents, workers and students.

Through the pilot deployment, we hope to gain important operational lessons and insights in aspects such as regulatory and liability frameworks, physical and assistive infrastructure to ensure safety and public acceptance. This will enable us to eventually implement autonomous public transport services nationwide.

The safety of passengers and other road users is of paramount importance, be it during trials, pilot deployment, or eventual full operational services.

This is an image of AV Testing conducted at CETRAN AV Test Centre

In Singapore, all AVs must undergo stringent safety assessments conducted at the CETRAN (Centre of Excellence for Testing and Research of AVs-NTU) AV Test Centre, before they can run on our roads. The assessments have been developed by LTA and CETRAN, with input from the Traffic Police.

In addition, AVs today must also have a qualified safety operator onboard, to take control of the vehicle when necessary. AVs can only operate without the safety operator when they have proven their capabilities through rigorous testing and assessments.

AVs are also subject to mandatory regulatory requirements, such as having comprehensive insurance coverage against third-party liability and property damage; being fitted with a ‘black-box’ data recorder which stores video footages and key data to support investigations in case of accidents; and transmitting their locations and operational statuses in real-time to LTA’s AutOnomous VehicLe MonItoring and EValuation SystEm (OLIVE) to ensure their compliance with trial conditions.

For more information about the conditions under which AVs are allowed on our roads, you may refer to the Road Traffic Rules for AVs under the Road Traffic Act. The rules have been introduced in 2017 to regulate AV trials, with safeguarding commuter and other road users’ safety and interests as the topmost objective.

This is an image of the CETRAN AV Test Centre

The Centre of Excellence for Testing and Research of AVs-NTU (CETRAN) was established on 1 Aug 2016 as a collaboration effort between the government and NTU, to build up technical capabilities and knowledge in the area of testing and certification of AVs in Singapore.

To facilitate the testing of AV navigation controls in a real-world environment, the two-hectare CETRAN AV Test Centre was launched on 22 Nov 2017, and it is designed to replicate the different elements of Singapore’s roads with common traffic schemes, road infrastructure and traffic rules. The circuit also features a rain simulator and flood zone to test AVs’ navigation abilities under different weather conditions.

Besides developing the AV safety assessments and administering them on AVs, CETRAN also works closely with LTA on AV-related industry standards and research work, such as supporting the development of Singapore’s Technical Reference on AVs (TR68), which was launched on 31 January 2019. The 4-part standards document, covers four key areas of AV deployment: vehicle behaviour, vehicle functional safety, cybersecurity, and data formats.

The document was developed through a collaborative effort involving the government, industry, academia and research institutes, as well as through consulting overseas experts and taking reference from international bodies and best practices. As a provisional standard, the document is constantly being reviewed and revised to ensure it remains relevant with AV technological advances.

Singapore’s safety assessment for AVs is known as the AV Milestone Testing Regime. The regime comprises three milestones, allowing AVs to trial on roads with different conditions and limitations depending on the milestone they have achieved.

Each milestone test comprises components such as document review, day and night circuit test at the CETRAN AV Test Centre, simulation test, and on-road test.

This is an infographic of the AV Milestone Testing Regime
Find out what are the current on-going AV trials in Singapore
Here are some of the on-going AV trials in Singapore. Do visit them and take a ride!
This is an image of AV Shuttle at Jurong Lake Gardens
AV Shuttle at Lakeside Garden (Jurong Lake Gardens)

In collaboration with ST Engineering Autonomous Solutions and Willers, the National Parks Board (NParks) has deployed a 11-seater AV shuttle as a trial service for visitors from 3 Dec 2020, with the aim of improving accessibility within the garden.

Lakeside Garden is located at 50 Yuan Ching Road, Singapore 618661.

For more information, please visit NParks (Jurong Lake Gardens) webpage.

Photo credit: NParks

This is an image of AV Shuttle at Gardens by the Bay
Auto Rider at Gardens by the Bay

The Auto Rider is an autonomous shuttle service for visitors of Gardens by the Bay, easing accessibility within the garden.

It is located at Bayfront Plaza, Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953.

For more information, please visit Gardens by the Bay webpage.

Photo credit: Gardens by the Bay

How does an AV work?

The AV first senses its surrounding location by gathering inputs from its suite of sensors: cameras, LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), RADAR (Radio Detection and Ranging), IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) and GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System).

With the sensory inputs, the AV is then able to plan a path to bring itself towards its destination safely, while avoiding obstacles, obeying traffic rules, etc. 

Finally, the AV acts on its plan, by using its motion control and actuation modules to translate the motion commands into physical motions.

This process of sense-plan-act happens in real-time continuously, over and over again!

This is an infographic illustrating how AVs sense plan and act

1

This is an image of a beacon on an AV

 

The yellow beacon (circled in red) indicate that it is on autonomous mode.

2

This is an image of 'AV on trial' sticker
The ‘AV on trial’ sticker at the back of the AV will indicate that the AV is on road trial.

3

This is an image of the signboards indicating AV trials
These signs are put up prominently in the test areas to indicate that AV trials are being carried out.

We want to hear your views and feedback about AVs! If you have taken any of the AV trial rides – or even if you have not – please share your views and feedback with us here or by scanning the QR code below:

This is an image of a QR code to survey
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