Speaker Interviews

Discover more about the topics and technologies to be discussed at this year's (fee-to-attend) conferences, via a series of exclusive interviews with a selection of our expert speakers

How Singapore became a model for AV regulations
Institute for Infocomm Research (A*STAR)

Jaya Shankar, program head, smart mobility solutions at the Singapore Technical Committee for Autonomous Vehicles, Institute for Infocomm Research (A*STAR), gives us the lowdown on how Singapore came to formulate comprehensive standards and regulations for autonomous vehicles with its ‘Technical Reference 68’.

Catch Jaya’s presentation Singapore Technical Reference TR 68: 2019 autonomous vehicle standards at the Autonomous Vehicle Test & Development Symposium. Purchase your delegate pass here.

Tell us more about your presentation.

I will be discussing the new set of provisional national standards developed by Singapore earlier this year to guide the industry in the development and deployment of fully autonomous vehicles (AVs). The set of standards, known as Technical Reference 68 (TR 68), will promote the safe deployment of fully autonomous vehicles in Singapore.

The TR 68 was developed under the aegis of the Committee of Autonomous Road Transport for Singapore, which is headed by the Ministry of Transport. It is an industry-led effort, driven by working groups comprising some 60 national experts specializing in AV technology, urban planning, and technology solutions, as well as Singapore government agencies, including Enterprise Singapore. These efforts were supported by the Singapore Standards Council, Land Transport Authority, and the Singapore Manufacturing Federation-Standards Development Organisation.

What are the main points of TR 68? How is Singapore leading the way in terms of AV standards?

The set of standards covers four key areas: vehicle behavior, vehicle safety, cybersecurity principles and assessment, and vehicular data types and format. The standards support the development of AVs by providing AV technology developers with clear guidelines that are benchmarked against international standards. This will help to mitigate the risks and uncertainty surrounding this emerging technology. For instance, the TR 68 covers guidelines such as how fast AVs should travel and the space between them on the road, ensuring that these vehicles are safe to use in Singapore.

This journey of industry engagement for AV standards began in August 2017, and since then we have gathered groups of technical experts from inside Singapore and from around the world to exchange ideas. Through the engagement of the participants, four working groups were formed. An industry dialogue and workshop was organized in September 2018 to identify relevant stakeholders in the AV value chain to validate the draft standards before the TR was finalized. The participants to the workshop provided very valuable and constructive technical comments. Some of these essential technical comments were also considered by the AV working groups. Finally, overseas experts were consulted during the development process of the standards as well.

How are you balancing industry interests with general concerns and input from research institutions and government?

The development of the TR 68 was a collaborative effort involving key stakeholders in the AV value chain. The working groups that developed the TR 68 were formed through this discussion. They comprise representatives from government agencies, trade associations and academia, and industry practitioners and experts in AV technology, urban planning and technology solutions.

Before finalizing the TR 68, we conducted two rounds of industry consultations to seek feedback and address suggestions to the draft standards. Throughout this entire process of developing and consulting on the draft standards, the working groups made decisions collectively, based on a consensus of the members.

How do you see these standards evolving in the future?

As a provisional standard, with feedback from the industry, TR 68 will continue to undergo refinement as AV technology matures. The feedback gathered will be used to review and improve TR 68. More work will also be done to expand its scope to cover other aspects of AV development and deployment.

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