Singapore Welcomes Driverless Test Drives To Town
Image courtesy Delphi Automotive PLC
Singapore, where the buildings loom large and the cars are increasingly devoid of drivers.
Delphi, a United Kingdom company, “that integrates safer, greener and more connected solutions for the automotive sector,” has announced its foray into the Singapore market with self-driving vehicles that will squire travelers around a specific portion of ther area with varying levels of autonomy shortly.
The roll out is a joint venture with the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) and, at its heart, features cloud technology that will allow potential users to request on demand service from a carrier that may one day not even have so much as a steering wheel.
The following graphic shows off the four-mile test route where you will spot and possibly enjoy one of several automotive cars in the area.
Image courtesy Delphi Automotive PLC
The Verge explains how things will evolve for Delphi: “At first, a driver will be in the car, acting as a lifeguard in case of an emergency. Over time, there will be no human driver; eventually, the plan is to take the steering wheel out of the car altogether.”
Kevin Clark, president and chief executive officer, Delphi, championed the collaboration that may one day solve an infrastructure conundrum for Singapore officials: “We are honored to partner with the Singapore LTA on advancing innovative mobility systems, which will put Singapore at the forefront of autonomous vehicle adoption. This a great recognition of Delphi's leadership in advanced safety technologies, automated software, systems integration, as well as our ability to drive these mobility solutions forward for our customers.”
Back in October we highlighted the intrepid steps into the Singapore self-driving market from the Land Transportation Authority.
At the time, the organization posted a Facebook post that explained its willingness to explore the technology to further mold its infrastructure to the demands of the modern traveler.
A press release offered this weekend echoes that need: “Of particular interest to the Singapore LTA is the potential for automated driving solutions to make it easier for commuters transiting the ‘first mile’ and ‘last mile’ between a mass transit station and their home or work place.”
Perhaps autonomous cars can fill the market like Uber, taking millions per year to various parts of a city or long trips through respective towns around the world.
As some might realize, there are those concerns that come with drivers who loathe transporting passengers on a brief fare.
But what if there were no driver to consider? We can see self-driving cars wiggling into the market for those passengers who simply need a quick jaunt to the next subway stop and don’t need to bother about causing frustration.
And that sentiment could come in myriad forms. The release states that Delphi’s innovative solution could make its way into things like cars or buses.
And as The Verge contends, the market will have some time to get used to the idea as humans provide a sort of training wheels stop gap before the technology is ready to be employed in full over the area.
And Singapore is eager to see this remarkable technology take off, which is one of the reasons the Singapore Autonomous Vehicle Initiative (SAVI) was installed in 2014.
Jeff Owens, chief technology officer, Delphi, speaks to how Delphi meets the demands of that initiative: “As a partner in SAVI, Delphi will use a foundation of the same vehicle technologies that enabled us to successfully complete the first coast-to-coast autonomous drive of the United States in 2015. Developing a cloud-based software servicing capability integrated with the vehicle creates an end-to-end solution that will eventually allow our existing, and many potential new customers, the ability to enter emerging mobility markets.”
So from a small slice of Singapore the promise of self-driving wonder could possibly bloom and spread to every corner of the globe.
It’s a nice thought as we are already deep into an era of apps that all but nurture a presumption immediate gratification from travelers the world over.
More by Gabe Zaldivar
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