From robotic police officers to robotic contactless deliveries, Singapore is a hub of futuristic technological advancements and leading the way with autonomous vehicles.
While these self-driving vehicles embody safety and convenience, how prepared are you for the business challenges that come with implementing them into your fleet?
You’re about to unpack how Cartrack can help you easily breeze through the AV tech-storm.
Imagine a world where a vehicle can stop at a red light, drive into the right lane, and avoid road obstacles without any human being sitting inside of it. Well, that world is here.
This is thanks to autonomous vehicles, which are often referred to as self-driving or driverless vehicles. These advanced vehicles are capable of sensing their environment and effectively operating with little to no human involvement. The autonomy levels of these vehicles may vary, ranging from basic driver-assist features to full autonomy, where no human input is needed.
Singapore is no stranger to autonomous vehicles, considering that the nation’s first test centre to support the integration of these driverless vehicles into Singapore's roads was launched six years ago. Singapore was the first country in the world to test self-driving taxi services, and since then, the growth of these vehicles has been tremendous. On December 12th, 2023, WeRide, China’s autonomous vehicle company, obtained two licenses to begin testing on public roads in Singapore.
Channel News Asia (CNA) has reported on how we have the MooBus, an electric autonomous bus that was deployed by MooVita. Launched on January 9th, 2023, the free shuttle ferries passengers from King Albert MRT and around Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP). But the technology doesn’t stop with public transport, because we also have Auto-Dolly and Auto-DollyTug. These autonomous vehicles operate at Singapore Changi Airport to transport baggage to and from the plane and terminal and are equipped with safety features to recognise humans and obstacles on the road.
Autonomous vehicles make use of a variety of sensors that act as the “eyes” of the vehicle. These sensors, which are used in combination with complex algorithms, machine learning systems, and powerful processes, can create and maintain a map of their surroundings, allowing them to perceive the environment and make safe driving decisions. The information these systems gather is processed by the vehicle’s software, which controls the vehicle’s movements, such as steering, braking, and acceleration, in a way that is similar to how a human driver works.
Effectively navigating the autonomous road involves a sequence of three interconnected tasks. Let’s unpack them in detail:
This involves creating and maintaining a map of the vehicle’s surroundings based on data from various sensors, such as radar sensors to monitor nearby vehicles, video cameras to detect traffic lights, road signs, and pedestrians, and other environmental sensors that can detect weather conditions. The software then analyses and interprets this data to create a real-time picture of the external world, which involves accurately identifying and classifying objects, understanding their actions and intentions, and detecting possible hazards.
Path planning is a crucial task for autonomous vehicles, involving the strategic decision-making process to determine the most optimal route to a destination while navigating obstacles and adhering to various road regulations. The vehicle's sensors perceive the surrounding environment, capturing data about the road, traffic signs, pedestrians, and other vehicles. By using this information, the vehicle localises itself within the environment. Path planning algorithms then analyse this data, considering factors such as road conditions, traffic regulations, dynamic obstacles, weather, and vehicle capabilities. With this detailed understanding of the environment, the vehicle can generate a safe and efficient route plan.
Once the vehicle has perceived its surroundings, the next critical step involves precise control over its movements. The control system coordinates the steering, acceleration, and braking, which all work together to execute the planned maneuvers smoothly and safely. The vehicle's software translates the decisions made by the algorithm into specific actions that ensure safe and smooth operation. This process requires a precise control system that is capable of adapting to real-time environmental changes while maintaining a safe distance from other objects. Advanced algorithms optimise acceleration and braking to ensure safety and facilitate a comfortable and fuel-efficient journey.
These three main tasks are enabled by the following technological implementations:
Autonomous vehicles are equipped with a multitude of sensors to perceive their surroundings. These include:
All this information from the sensors is combined and processed by the vehicle’s AI system. It’s like putting together a giant puzzle of the road, understanding the location of lanes, vehicles, pedestrians, and other objects.
Autonomous vehicles are the epitome of convenience, but just how beneficial are they in Singapore? Here are their top 3 benefits:
According to data from Singapore Police Force statistics, Singapore recorded a total of 6,883 road traffic accidents, with 8,549 total casualties recorded in the same year. This is an increase of over 13% from the previous year's recording of 6,039 road traffic accidents. While they can’t completely put a stop to road accidents, autonomous vehicles can play a significant role in lowering accident rates. Thanks to their high-precision technology, autonomous vehicles can view the environment in a 360-degree range, which is twice as much as humans, who only have a viewing angle of 180 degrees horizontally. This reduces human error and misbehaviour that can cause deadly car accidents.
According to Medium, Singapore’s cars release around 6.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions. This is one of the reasons the Singaporean government has positively discouraged private car dependence. According to a 2022 study, the adoption of autonomous vehicles can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 34% of the total emissions from transportation by 2050. By making use of sensors that ensure adherence to road rules in real time, AVs can avoid high-speed driving, excessive braking, and unnecessary acceleration, which are all common contributing factors to increased vehicle emissions. When integrated with traffic management systems that work to optimise routes, idle time and traffic congestion are reduced, which significantly minimises emissions caused by stop-and-go traffic.
Due to their ability to optimise routes, autonomous vehicles can improve a fleet’s fuel economy. Research shows that route optimisation can reduce fuel costs by up to 20%. Due to autonomous vehicles being able to analyse their surroundings and determine the best travel route, they can significantly lower fuel consumption by reducing mileage and avoiding congested roads and traffic. Autonomous vehicles also drive based on road rules and regulations, which ensures that safe driving habits are implemented. This helps put an end to fuel-wasting driving behaviours, such as idling, sudden acceleration, and harsh braking. Also, the reduction of these behaviours leads to smoother, more consistent travel speeds, which positively impacts fuel efficiency, lowers wear and tear, and decreases fleet running costs.
Autonomous vehicles aren’t without challenges, and if they’re not addressed, they can become an even bigger problem for fleets. These are three of the most serious challenges:
Cartrack is aware of the challenges that implementing autonomous vehicles into your fleet can pose, and we aim to bring you solutions for some of these challenges. These include:
As a model smart nation, Singapore’s advancements in autonomous vehicle implementation are providing a boost to its sustainability efforts. While these vehicles may come with challenges, Cartrack is the perfect partner for your AV fleet.
Contact us today, and let’s keep your autonomous fleet running at its optimum level together.
Singapore is the hub of futuristic technological advancements and is leading the way with autonomous vehicles. Elevate your AV fleet operation with an effective fleet management solution and say goodbye to AV challenges today.