Self-Driving Vehicles Will Soon Be Tested In Bukit Timah, Clementi & Jurong

Seeing a driverless vehicle on the road would scare many motorists, given their association with ghostly encounters in horror movies.

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Well, drivers in western Singapore may soon see vehicles with an empty driver’s seat on the road. But don’t worry just yet, there’s absolutely nothing to fear.

On Thursday (24 Oct), Senior Minister of Transport Janil Puthucheary announced that the testing ground for autonomous vehicles (AVs) will soon cover the entire western part of Singapore.

This expansion will include areas such as Woodlands, Bukit Merah, and Choa Chu Kang, but the commencement date is uncertain.

Testing ground will add 1,000km of public roads for trials

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), the expansion will add around 1,000km of public roads for the testing of self-driving vehicles.

This will be a significant increase to the largest existing test site located in Buona Vista, which only has 70km of roads for AV testing. AVs have also been tested in Jurong Island, NTU, and Sentosa island.

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3 companies are currently testing AVs in these areas:

  • ComfortDelGro
  • nuTonomy
  • ST Engineering

The expanded test bed will allow these companies to test AVs in more varied “traffic scenarios and road conditions” reports CNA.

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However, the expansion will happen in a “small-scale, incremental manner”. All testing will also require LTA’s approval.

Hopefully, this will allow AVs to undergo more robust testing to help identify areas of improvement – if any – before their larger-scale deployment next year.

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All self-driving vehicles will have a human ‘safety driver’ on board

All AVs will have “prominent” decals allowing other motorists to identify them as self-driving vehicles.

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A ‘safety driver’ will be on board the AVs to take over control of the vehicle when there’s an emergency, very much like the instructor who sits beside you when you learn how to drive.

Don’t be alarmed when a driverless car pulls up next to you

We are glad that our government is looking at innovative ways to help improve our transport system.

If you happen to drive frequently in the western part of Singapore, do not be alarmed when a driverless car pulls up next to you.

While you may not be able to ‘see’ the forces at work, we assure you it’s nothing unusual and something out of the ordinary.

Featured image adapted from WeForum