LTA Seeks Proposals for AV-Enabled Land Transport Mobility Concepts
Will autonomous vehicles (AVs) allow us to make towns or even the entire city car-lite, as people simply walk, cycle or hop onto a shared AV that runs as part of a multi-modal transport network? Will AVs reduce the need for us to drive, thus freeing us up with more time for doing the things we love?
2. Taking the next step towards shaping how AV technology can potentially meet our future transport needs, LTA has issued a Request for Information (RFI) today to seek proposals on how AV technology can be harnessed as part of other land transport mobility concepts, which include mobility-on-demand and autonomous buses.
3. Through the RFI, LTA will study if AVs can be deployed as a mass-transport service that operates on fixed routes and scheduled timings, such as autonomous buses. The RFI will also explore if a network of demand-responsive shared vehicles can form a new mobility system for intra-town and inter-town travel. This can potentially serve as a convenient transport mode within towns, resulting in a lower reliance on private cars.
4. The RFI forms part of the efforts under the Singapore Autonomous Vehicle Initiative (SAVI), which was launched in August last year to oversee and manage AV research, test-bedding, and the development of applications and solutions by industry partners and stakeholders. SAVI’s work will support the Committee on Autonomous Road Transport for Singapore (CARTS) to holistically chart the strategic direction for AV-enabled land mobility concepts in Singapore.
5. The findings of the RFI will also provide LTA with more information on the requirements that are necessary for the implementation of these AV-enabled mobility concepts in Singapore, including infrastructure. Interested parties can access the document on the Government Electronic Business (GeBiz) platform.
6. Said LTA’s Chief Executive Mr Chew Men Leong: “We are excited at the many possibilities of how AV technology can be harnessed. With the ability to self-drive, AVs have the potential to optimise road capacity by moving in a compact, systematic manner. They can also provide greater connectivity for first and last mile travel and facilitate the efficient sharing of vehicles. To bring these possibilities closer to reality, we want to create an open platform in one-north, where the industry, research institutions and the authorities can jointly conduct Proof-of-Concept (POC) trials, to provide the basis for future deployment in other sites.”
7. LTA expects to conclude the submission of RFI proposals by the third quarter of 2015. LTA will then assess the need to call for a Request for Proposal (RFP) for shortlisted proposers to participate in. Subject to further evaluation, proposers can subsequently be granted approval to test their AV mobility concepts at the AV test-bed in one-north, an R&D business park and hotspot for innovation and test-bedding. The AV test-bed, which consists of a six km-long network of roads connecting Biopolis, Fusionopolis and Mediapolis, was identified in January this year in partnership with one-north master planner and developer JTC Corporation.
Applications for AV testing in one-north
8. As of May 2015, LTA has received proposals from two applicants to conduct AV POC tests in one-north. The applicants comprise the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) and A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research (I²R). LTA has been working with the applicants to evaluate their proposed test programmes and routes. Before any on-road trials can be conducted at one-north, applicants are required to fulfil the pre-requisite of conducting a demonstration test. LTA will work closely with the applicants as well as the relevant agencies to facilitate the safe conduct of the trials.