Singapore LTA announces second partner to trial autonomous mobility-on-demand service


Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) has announced a partnership with a second company to test autonomous mobility-on-demand concepts, following its previous announcement of a three-year pilot program with UK-based Delphi Automotive.

The LTA has announced it has entered into a new partnership with nuTonomy – a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) spin-off and leading developer of state-of-the art software systems for self-driving cars – to begin trials of an autonomous mobility-on-demand transportation service. The partnership will expand and accelerate the company’s existing development efforts in Singapore, as it progresses toward the launch of a commercial autonomous vehicle (AV) service in 2018.

nuTonomy is the first, and to date, only private enterprise approved by the Singapore government for the testing of AVs on public roads. The company has been conducting AV tests on a daily basis since April in Singapore’s One-North business district. In addition to Singapore, nuTonomy is operating self-driving cars in Michigan, USA, and the UK, where it tests software in partnership with major automotive industry players, such as Jaguar Land Rover.

Under the partnership with LTA, nuTonomy will conduct a program of enhanced trials that will simulate the experience of an autonomous mobility-on-demand service by allowing select users to request, interact with, and ride in a nuTonomy AV. The multi-faceted R&D partnership with the LTA will allow nuTonomy to advance its trial program, expand its AV fleet, enhance its data collection initiatives, and improve all aspects of the user experience, as it prepares to launch a commercial AV service for Singapore residents. At the same time, the partnership will provide LTA with information about the best practices that are necessary for implementing AV-enabled mobility services in Singapore. This partnership with LTA is part of the Singapore Autonomous Vehicle Initiative (SAVI), which oversees and manages AV research, test-bedding, and the development of applications and solutions for Singapore residents by industry partners and stakeholders.

“We are honored to partner with LTA and we applaud the Singaporean government for its forward thinking and planning,” said CEO and nuTonomy co-founder Karl Iagnemma (above). “We are committed to Singapore, as demonstrated by the growing team we have here, as well as our AV testing program in One-North. This innovative collaboration with LTA will accelerate the pace of change we are bringing to the fundamentals of human transportation, by enhancing our ability to deploy a fleet of self-driving vehicles to serve the people of Singapore.”

nuTonomy’s other co-founder and CTO, Emilio Frazzoli, added, “This strategic partnership with LTA will enable us to expand our ongoing testing program on public roads. The feedback we will gather through more extensive trials will be of great value, as we continue to develop our AV software system and ready our mobility-on-demand service for deployment across Singapore. Our team in Singapore enjoys a very productive working relationship with the government, and we’re confident that this will extend to our promising new partnership with LTA.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).