CCTVs, new equipment, introduced at one-north to support driverless trials

A CCTV at one of the 20 locations in the one-north Autonomous Vehicle (AV) test-bed on Oct 18, 2016.
A CCTV at one of the 20 locations in the one-north Autonomous Vehicle (AV) test-bed on Oct 18, 2016. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - To push the development of self-driving technology here further, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has installed equipment aimed at supporting and monitoring the testing of driverless vehicles at one-north.

Last year (2015), one-north was identified by the authorities as a test bed for autonomous vehicles (AV).

The equipment includes a network of 20 CCTV cameras and 10 "dedicated short-range communication" beacons, which broadcast information such as traffic light signals and traffic conditions to the vehicles to assist them in negotiating the road.

They were progressively installed in several phases since July this year (2016) .

A backend system, introduced earlier this month (October) at LTA's intelligent transport systems centre (ISTC), monitors the vehicles and evaluates their performance based on footage from the CCTV cameras as well as data from the vehicles themselves.

"The purpose of the data is to allow us to evaluate the performance of the AVs during the trials and allow us to see whether we should further enhance our infrastructure to support the trials in the future,"said Ms Joanna Cheong, manager at the LTA's Intelligent Transport Systems Development Division.

Last month (September) the LTA, together with JTC, expanded the route on which these vehicles can be tested, doubling it from 6km to 12km.

The area now includes the one north MRT station, residential properties and office buildings, including Fusionopolis and Lucasfilm's Sandcrawler headquarters.

There are currently four agencies testing autonomous vehicles at the one-north test bed: the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (Smart), nuTonomy, Delphi and A*Star.

Scott Pendleton, a research fellow with Smart, said the new infrastructure would help supplement their vehicle's own sensors and cameras, allowing them to better navigate and negotiate traffic conditions.

He added the expanded area would allow them to test their vehicles in a wider range of environments.

"We can prove our algorithms over a wider range of scenarios,"he said.