November 15, 2018: In order to start work on driverless mobility, a joint R&D team will be introduced by Continental and EasyMile at the Singapore corporate building. The team will emphasize on developing new technologies focusing on perception and deep learning. It will also come up with autonomous vehicle (AV) technology for tests regarding safe deployments on private grounds and public roads in the Singaporean metro area.
During the inauguration of the R&D initiative and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the guests already got a preview towards driverless mobility by riding the electrically powered Continental Urban Mobility Experience development platform, powered by EasyMile software.
With a regulatory sandbox for AVs in place, Singapore has the flexibility to quickly adjust its regulatory framework to support the fast pace of development of AV technology while safeguarding public safety. Autonomous systems feature prominently in its plans to improve the transport system in Singapore. AVs, in particular, are seen to have the potential to enhance first and last mile connectivity between peoples’ homes and nearby public transport nodes.
In order to move the field forward, Singapore is engaging in intensive dialogue with leading industrial companies to develop driverless solutions as soon as possible to complement and maintain efficient urban mobility.
“Our Singapore location is already one of our largest R&D locations in Asia. Its position is strategic as Singapore is one of Asia’s four tigers, and an important financial and trade centre”, says Ralph Lauxmann, head of Systems & Technology, member of the Chassis & Safety Management Board, and head of the Automated Driving project house at Continental.
“With the joint autonomous driving R&D team, we have expanded the network of our automated driving project house to another important location. Together with EasyMile, we are proud to contribute to the Singapore Smart City Initiative. The results can also be used as a blueprint for the deployment of driverless systems in other regions of the world,” he added.
Gilbert Gagnaire, CEO of EasyMile SAS, confirmed during the inauguration, “For the past four years, EasyMile has demonstrated its leadership in deploying reliable and safe autonomous systems. The Continental and EasyMile joint R&D team in Singapore is an important step to accelerate the development of new technology for global markets.”
Once the new R&D team is up and running, its long-term perspective is to ready an AV based on Continental and EasyMile’s global expertise for the roads of Singapore and to shape safe driverless solutions.
The MoU between Continental and EasyMile is also a stepping stone in a structured approach to AV testing on public roads in Singapore. The city already has a test centre for AVs located in Jurong Innovation District. There are on-going AV trials being conducted at one-north and Sentosa. Singapore has also identified three towns for pilot deployment of AVs for public transport by the early 2020s. The pilot deployment will provide insights on development of AVs at town scale to benefit commuters, especially in enhancing first and last mile connectivity.