Singapore Takes Next Step With Autonomous Vehicles

Singapore continues leadership in the AV space as the Land Transport Authority approves testing of autonomous mobility-on-demand transportation service.

Earlier this year I was invited to Singapore to see what advances are taking place in their technology space. During the trip I had the opportunity to take a spin in an autonomous vehicle. This is the video I took of my experience from the back seat. 

As the leading developer of state-of-the art software systems for self-driving cars, nuTonomy recently announced its partnership with Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) to begin trials of an autonomous mobility-on-demand transportation service. The trials will allow select users to request, interact with, and ride in an AV.

The LTA heads land transport developments in Singapore and works to develop innovative solutions to make their transportation systems greener and more people-centered.

nuTonomy has been conducting daily AV tests in Singapore since April and are, to date, the only private enterprise approved by the government for the testing of AVs on public roads. The R&D partnership with LTA will allow them to enhance data collection and improve all aspects of the user experience. You can see in the video we drive through some street construction, stop at a stop light, and encounter a street-parked car. All on public roads in their one-north business district.

One of the issues they are still working on is giving the AV the ability to predict what another cars and drivers might do. As you can hear in the video, one of the R&D reps in the car says, "Predicting what the other people in other cars are doing is quite challenging...we're humans...when you tell the other car to go you just wave, but the [AV] doesn't understand that kind of gesture."

nuTonomy recently completed a $16M Series A funding and plans to add more than 100 jobs in Singapore in the future. They also test software and operate self-driving cars in Michigan and the United Kingdom.

Currently, sixteen U.S. states (including Michigan) have introduced legislation related to autonomous vehicles including Nevada, California, Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Arizona, and Washington D.C.