New autonomous driving R&D team is inaugurated in Singapore
A Singapore R&D team will focus on environmental perception, driving decision strategies, artificial intelligence, vehicle safety and system integration.
Continental and EasyMile have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and initiated a new research team which will enable both companies to together prepare tests for self-driving vehicles on public roads.
The joint R&D team will work on solutions for driverless mobility with a focus to develop new technology centred on perception and deep learning, and prepare autonomous vehicle (AV) technology for tests towards safe deployments on private grounds and public roads in the Singaporean metro area.
With a regulatory sandbox for AVs in place, Singapore has the flexibility to quickly adjust its regulatory framework to support the fast pace of AV technology development while safeguarding public safety. Autonomous systems feature prominently in plans to improve the transport system in Singapore.
“Our location is one of our largest R&D locations in Asia,” said 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 by another important location. Together with EasyMile we are proud to prepare a contribution to the Singapore Smart City Initiative. The results can be used as a blueprint for the deployment of driverless systems also in other regions of the world.”
The MoU between Continental and EasyMile is 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 and there are ongoing 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.
Gilbert Gagnaire, CEO of EasyMile SAS, said: “I am delighted to further extend the already deep collaboration between Continental and EasyMile. For the past four years, EasyMile has demonstrated its leadership in deploying reliable and safe autonomous systems. Continental and EasyMile joint R&D team is an important step to accelerate the development of new technology for global markets.”
“Once our 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,” said Kien Foh Lo, Managing Director of Continental Automotive Singapore. “Intelligent transportation systems are one of our established business pillars in Singapore. We are building on that strength by adding another focus to our strong R&D.”
Tan Kong Hwee, Executive Director of Transport Engineering, Economic Development Board (EDB) Singapore, said: “We welcome Continental and Easymile’s decision to build autonomous vehicle R&D capabilities in Singapore. The two companies’ joint decision underscores Singapore’s attractiveness as a location to develop, test and commercialise new AV technologies.”