Singapore opens first autonomous vehicle test center


A partnership between the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the JTC government infrastructure agency huas opened Singapore’s first autonomous vehicle (AV) test center, located in Jurong Innovation District.

The new 2-hectare test facility which was jointly developed by LTA, NTU and JTC, will support the Center of Excellence for Testing & Research of AVs – NTU (CETRAN), which was launched in August 2016, to spearhead the development of testing requirements for AVs.

Together with CETRAN and its partners, LTA will work toward developing the necessary standards and testing regimes for the safe deployment of AVs on the city-state’s public roads. As there are currently no existing international test standards or international certification bodies for AVs, CETRAN will anchor Singapore’s position in supporting the testing and eventual widespread deployment of AVs.

To facilitate the testing of AV navigation controls in a real-world environment, the CETRAN AV Test Center is designed to replicate the different elements of Singapore’s roads, with common traffic schemes, road infrastructure and traffic rules. The circuit also features a rain simulator and flood zone to test AVs’ navigation abilities under different weather conditions.

To monitor the progress of AV testing, LTA has installed a network of seven 360° closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at strategic locations across the site. Real-time footage from these CCTVs will be streamed back to the AutOnomous VehicLe MonItoring and EValuation SystEm (OLIVE), housed at LTA’s Intelligent Transport Systems Center. Through OLIVE, LTA will be able to integrate data from AVs and the CCTVs to evaluate the readiness of AVs for public use.

Together with NTU, CETRAN will work closely with industry partners, such as Siemens and SystemX, to explore various areas of AV research, including sensors and signaling systems, and verification through computer simulations. CETRAN has also inked partnership agreements with four organizations: PTV Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd, the UK’s National Physical Laboratory, NXP Semiconductors Singapore Pte Ltd, and electric management technology developer Diamond Energy.

“The launch of the CETRAN AV Test Center marks a significant milestone in our efforts to become a leading global hub for the development of autonomous vehicle technology,” explained LTA’s chief innovation and technology officer, Lam Wee Shan.

“By being able to test out the safety and feasibility of latest AV research, we can develop this research into deployable projects that will ultimately benefit users of our transport systems.”

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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).