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LTA adds new areas for driverless car trials, extending circuit by 55km

Friday, June 23, 2017 - 16:23

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Singapore is extending the length of roads that driverless vehicles can be tested on by more than four times, in the hopes of speeding up technology development.

SINGAPORE is extending the length of roads that driverless vehicles can be tested on by more than four times, in the hopes of speeding up technology development.

Starting Friday, autonomous vehicles (AV) can also be tested in National University of Singapore (NUS), and Singapore Science Park 1 and 2, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a release on Friday.

These areas are adjacent to the one-north business park in Buona Vista, which is currently the designated test bed for driverless cars. In September 2016, LTA doubled the length of the test routes within one-north from 6km to 12km.

The new areas "present a larger test bed, and will add another 55km to the existing AV trial routes. This will allow AV trial participants to experience more on-road scenarios which will help accelerate technology development", said the release.

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A map provided by LTA shows that the expanded areas include U-Town in NUS, but does not include the National University Hospital.

An area enclosed by Dover Road and North Buona Vista Road is also ear-marked for testing, but vehicles on trial need to be in manual modes at specific times of the day, specifically during peak hours.

To inform the public, signboards will be put up in the test areas to indicate that trials are being carried out. All AV test vehicles will continue to sport decals and markings for easy recognition by road users, said LTA.

"Deploying AVs for shared transport will help enhance our first- and last-mile commute and bring greater mobility to the elderly and other commuters who may have difficulties in taking public transport today," said LTA's chief technology officer Lam Wee Shann.

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