The Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Singapore has announced that it is to expand the geographic zone within which AV companies can test their self-driving vehicles. The testing will now cover all of western Singapore.
LTA has been facilitating on-road AV trials since 2015 with the aim of understanding how the technology can be used to develop Singapore’s transport system. Over the past few years the test area has been progressively expanded.
In response to industry feedback that a more varied testing environment will help accelerate AV technology development, LTA has expanded the testing region further. The expanded testbed will open up more than 1,000km of public roads for AV companies to progressively conduct on-road testing in a wider range of traffic scenarios and road conditions.
This will support the testing of AV capabilities to provide inter-town services and long-haul journeys in a safe manner, and pave the way for the planned pilot deployment of AVs in the early 2020s.
LTA added that public safety will continue to be the top priority for AV trials. All AVs will continue to undergo a thorough safety assessment before they are approved for on-road trials. They must also continue to have a qualified safety driver who is ready to take over immediate control of the vehicle should the need arise.