Driverless car hits lorry during test drive in Singapore

Bumpy road ahead for autonomous vehicles?

It’s barely been two months since driverless cars landed on our shores, and already we have what appears to be our first accident.

According to the Land Transport Authority (LTA), on Tuesday 18 October, a self-driving car collided with a lorry while attempting to change lanes.

The accident occurred while the nuTonomy Robo-car was in the midst of conducting on-road testing at the One North neighbourhood, and while there were two engineers on board the vehicle, thankfully no one was hurt.

Last month, the company also partnered with ride-hailing app Grab to allow select users to book driverless taxis. The vehicle involved was not one of these self-driving taxis.

LTA is currently investigating the exact cause of the accident, and it remains to be seen if the mishap will be a setback for autonomous vehicle trials on our island.

In a separate statement issued by the LTA, a safety framework regarding autonomous vehicles has also been put in place. These measures include qualified drivers being in autonomous vehicles at all times, ready to take control if necessary, putting all prototypes through a basic safety demonstration before they are allowed on the roads, and doubling test route lengths from 6km to 12km.

CCTV cameras have also been set up at 20 locations to monitor the behaviour of autonomous vehicles at traffic junctions and road bends, as well as any challenges that may surface.

[Source: Channel NewsAsia]