Singapore Expands Autonomous Vehicle Testing

Singapore, which has allowed testing of self-driving vehicles on select areas of public roads since 2015, will gradually expand such programs to more than 1,000 km (620 miles) in coming years.

The larger area, which covers most of the western part of the island, will enable testing of a wider variety of vehicles under various real-world conditions, the city-state’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) notes.

All test vehicles must pass special safety tests for autonomous driving before they’re allowed on the road. On-board backup drivers and third-party liability insurance will continue to be required for all testing.

In January, Singapore announced national standards for the testing and commercialization of autonomous vehicles. Last year the country was rated the second-most favorable market for autonomous vehicles—trailing only the Netherlands—in KPMG’s Autonomous Vehicle Readiness Index.

LTA aims to launch driverless shuttles in geofenced areas early next decade. The country’s research is increasingly focused on autonomous trucks and buses.