Friday, November 24, 2017

Driverless buses coming to three towns soon

Source Website: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/driverless-buses-coming-three-towns-soon
By Yunita Ong, The New Paper, 23 November 2017 at 06:00 am


A driverless vehicle being tested at the Centre of Excellence for Testing and Research of Autonomous Vehicles.
PHOTO: A driverless vehicle being tested at the Centre of Excellence for Testing and Research of Autonomous Vehicles. Question of insurance for autonomous vehicles remains unclear.
TNP PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
Picture posted by Yunita Ong, The New Paper on 23 November 2017 at 06:00 am [1]

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http://www.tnp.sg/sites/default/files/styles/rl680/public/articles/2017/11/23/NP_20171123_YOAUTO23_1666441.jpg?itok=E7XaAigG
http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/driverless-buses-coming-three-towns-soon



In five years, driverless buses could be plying roads in three town centres - Punggol, Tengah and the Jurong Innovation District. But question of insurance for autonomous vehicles remains unclear.

These buses will complement normal public buses and are aimed at providing first-last mile connections for residents and workers, announced Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan yesterday.

He was opening Singapore's first autonomous vehicle test centre yesterday.


Driverless buses will be deployed in three new suburban towns -Punggol, Tengah and the Jurong Innovation District.
PHOTO: Driverless buses will be deployed in three new suburban towns -Punggol, Tengah and the Jurong Innovation District. These towns have been designed to accommodate the vehicles for the pilot project, said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan
Picture posted by AFP and Phoebe Weston For Mailonline on 22 November 2017 at 11:58 GMT [4]

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http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/11/23/13/46A1C3A900000578-5107363-image-a-22_1511443794673.jpg
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5107363/Singapore-deploy-driverless-buses-2022-minister.html



Of the plan to pilot autonomous vehicles in the three towns, Mr Khaw said: "We expect that the autonomous vehicles will greatly enhance the accessibility and connectivity of our public transport system, particularly for the elderly, families with young children and the less mobile."

These towns will also be planned with autonomous vehicle-friendly features, he added.

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) also launched a Request for Information (RFI) yesterday to seek industry input on the key requirements for autonomous vehicles to be deployed.


Driverless buses to ply Punggol, Tengah, Jurong Innovation District from 2022
PHOTO: Driverless buses to ply Punggol, Tengah, Jurong Innovation District from 2022
Self-driving shuttle buses are seen at Singapore’s first test centre for autonomous vehicles (AVs) in the Jurong Innovation District, Nov 22, 2017.
Photo: Najeer Yusof/TODAY
Picture posted by Kenneth Cheng, Today on Friday, 24 November 2017 [3]

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http://www.todayonline.com/sites/default/files/styles/new_app_article_detail/public/photos/43_images/kcav1122web.jpg?itok=7CxT267u
http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/avs-be-piloted-punggol-tengah-jurong-innovation-district-2022


 
While the news is exciting and reflects Singapore's investment of millions of dollars in developing autonomous vehicles, the question of insurance looms.

INSURANCE
That is because insurance companies need to know who will take responsibility for such vehicles should they be safe enough to be insured, experts told The New Paper.

Professor Subodh Mhaisalkar, the executive director of Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) Energy Research Institute, asked: "Is it the software manufacturer or the car manufacturer at fault in the case of an accident?

"Those are the issues that are far from resolved."

A self-driving car from nuTonomy crashed into a lorry during a test at one-north district in October last year. No one was hurt and nuTonomy said it was caused by an extremely rare combination of software anomalies.

In May last year, a man was killed in Florida when his Tesla car, which was on autopilot, collided with a tractor trailer.

While safety regulators later cleared the autopilot system, Tesla said it has improved its system to incorporate more safety features, such as to disable autopilot when drivers are not paying attention.

Mr Niels de Boer, the programme director for the Centre of Excellence for Testing and Research of Autonomous Vehicles, said insurers may find it hard to insure such cars in the initial stages of deployment.

He said: "We might be technically ready but... the insurance companies need to be convinced we are ready. Insurance companies are willing to insure vehicles without safety drivers if we can show that the risk and liability are within control and they can come up with the premium for it."

When asked if he thinks driverless cars will eventually be insured here, he said: "It will happen, I can see it happening."

In September last year, the General Insurance Association (GIA) of Singapore told The Straits Times that it has been engaging the LTA on the progress of autonomous vehicle tests.

It also said that the underwriting of autonomous vehicles and handling accident claims present a different set of challenges.



Singapore will introduce driverless buses on 'quiet' public roads by 2022
PHOTO: Singapore will introduce driverless buses on 'quiet' public roads by 2022
  • Buses will initially be deployed on less crowded roads during off-peak periods
  • Government is asking for input from research institutions on what is needed
  • The buses will be deployed in Punggol, Tengah and the Jurong District
  • It is part of plans to improve mobility in the land-scarce city-state
Picture posted by AFP and Phoebe Weston For Mailonline on 22 November 2017 at 11:58 GMT [4]
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http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/11/23/11/46A170E300000578-5107363-image-a-12_1511436456417.jpg
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5107363/Singapore-deploy-driverless-buses-2022-minister.html



Singapore's first test centre for autonomous vehicles was launched yesterday just outside Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

The 2ha space, which costs $3.6 million to build, will allow the companies developing autonomous vehicle technology here to conduct tests in a safe, controlled and configurable testing environment.

Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan said at the opening: "We aim to develop a progressive set of scenarios that (autonomous vehicle) developers need to master before they can be safely deployed in more complex real-life environments."

The space was jointly developed by the Land Transport Authority, NTU and JTC as part of the Centre of Excellence for Testing and Research of Autonomous Vehicles.

It will be managed by NTU and will replicate road and traffic conditions and is equipped with rain and pedestrian simulators to mimic scenarios such as aggressive driving, cyclists and low-visibility, rainfall conditions.

Seven 360-degree closed-circuit television cameras across the test centre will also stream footage back to a monitoring and evaluating system.

There are at least 10 companies and institutions that are testing autonomous vehicle technology in Singapore.


Around ten local and foreign companies are currently in Singapore to test their driverless vehicle technology.
PHOTO: Around ten local and foreign companies are currently in Singapore to test their driverless vehicle technology. An autonomous taxi turns at an intersection during a test drive in Singapore in 2016
Picture posted by AFP and Phoebe Weston For Mailonline on 22 November 2017 at 11:58 GMT [4]

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QcW-lpSm9X0/Whe6dBRdz0I/AAAAAAAAomA/ZZKHbUb6E1El93sq3x1BCMhmQl2rWZG4QCLcBGAs/s1600/46A1712700000578-5107363-image-a-13_1511436476282.jpg
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/11/23/11/46A1712700000578-5107363-image-a-13_1511436476282.jpg
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5107363/Singapore-deploy-driverless-buses-2022-minister.html



Driverless Busses Could Be Coming to Your City Soon (Amsterdam)
By Yunita Ong, The New Paper, 23 November 2017 at 06:00 am



Reference
[1] Yunita Ong, The New Paper, Driverless buses coming to three towns soon, posted on 23 November 2017 at 06:00 am, http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/driverless-buses-coming-three-towns-soon

[2] Brandon Blackburn-Dwyer, Global Poverty Project, Global Citizen, Driverless Busses Could Be Coming to Your City Soon, posted on 20 July 2016, https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/future-bus-driverless-mercedes-road-test/

[3] Kenneth Cheng, Today, Driverless buses to ply Punggol, Tengah, Jurong Innovation District from 2022, posted on Friday, 24 November 2017, http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/avs-be-piloted-punggol-tengah-jurong-innovation-district-2022

 
[4] AFP and Phoebe Weston For Mailonline, Singapore will introduce driverless buses on 'quiet' public roads by 2022, posted on on 22 November 2017 at 11:58 GMT, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5107363/Singapore-deploy-driverless-buses-2022-minister.html