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Oral Reply by Senior Minister of State for Transport Dr Janil Puthucheary to Parliamentary Question on Self-Driving Vehicles and Safety Measures Put in Place

11 Jul 2018 In Parliament

Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye asked the Minister for Transport

a.     how many self-driving vehicles are currently being test-driven on our public roads; and

b.     what safety measures are in place to ensure the safety of pedestrians.

Reply by Senior Minister of State for Transport Dr Janil Puthucheary:

1.     Fourteen autonomous vehicles (AVs) are currently authorised to conduct trials on roads in the one-north, NUS, and Singapore Science Park 1 and 2 areas.

2.     To ensure the safety of all road users, the trials must fulfil stringent requirements. First, the vehicle must pass a safety assessment to demonstrate that it can adequately handle basic manoeuvers and come to a safe stop upon the detection of an obstacle.

3.     Second, initial AV trials will only be conducted on lightly used roads, such as those in the one-north district. Further trials in more complex environments will only be allowed when the AVs are able to demonstrate a higher level of competency.

4.     Third, all AVs being trialled must be accompanied by a safety driver who is trained to immediately take over full control of the AV when required.  In addition, all AVs must have a vehicle fault alert system that will alert the safety driver of any faults, and allow the control of the vehicle to be immediately transferred to the safety driver.  LTA will only waive the requirement for a safety driver after AV developers have convincingly proven the competency, reliability and safety of their technology.

5.     LTA also requires the AVs to be fitted with a ‘black-box’ data recorder, which stores video footages and collects key data, and to have the required insurance coverage against third party liability and property damage before the AVs are allowed to trial on our public roads.

6.     We are mindful that AV technology is evolving rapidly. We will review these measures regularly and enhance them if necessary.