Singapore releases guidelines for deployment of autonomous vehicles

Singapore has released a set of national standards to guide the local industry in the “safe” development and rollout of autonomous vehicles, outlining guidelines related to vehicle behaviour, functional safety, cybersecurity, and data formats. Called Technical Reference 68 (TR 68), the standards were developed over the past year by various representatives from the autonomous vehicle sector, research and education institutions, and government agencies. 

The effort was led by the Singapore Standards Council’s Manufacturing Standards Committee and also included advice from overseas experts, according to a statement Thursday jointly released by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), Enterprise Singapore, Standards Development Organisation, and Singapore Standards Council. 


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They noted that TR 68 would be further refined as autonomous vehicle technology continued to mature and the industry provided further feedback. 

Permanent Secretary for Transport and chairman of the Committee on Autonomous Road Transport for Singapore, Loh Ngai Seng, said plans were underway to launch a pilot deployment of autonomous vehicles in Punggol, Tengah, and Jurong Innovation District in the early 2020s, and TR 68 would help guide industry players in “the safe and effective deployment” of such vehicles in the city-state. 

Enterprise Singapore’s director-general of quality and excellence group Choy Sauw Kook said: “In addition to safety, TR 68 provides a strong foundation that will ensure interoperability of data and cybersecurity that are necessary for the deployment of autonomous vehicles in an urban environment. The TR 68 will also help to build up the autonomous vehicle ecosystem, including startups and SMEs (small and midsize enterprises) as well as testing, inspection, and certification service providers.”

TR 68 documentation can be purchased from the Singapore Standards eShop.

LTA in November 2017 announced plans to trial the use of autonomous buses and on-demand shuttle vehicles to serve commuters in three districts–Punggol, Tengah, and Jurong Innovation District–from 2022. 

A test centre in November 2017 also was opened to develop standards and ensure the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles on public roads. Spanning two hectares in Jurong Innovation District, the site was jointly developed by LTA, Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, and JTC. The test site would be able to replicate different elements of local roads, with common traffic schemes, road infrastructures, and traffic rules. These were necessary to test navigation controls in AVs. The facility also included a rain simulator and flood zone to test the vehicles’ navigation abilities under different weather conditions.

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