A video of Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan trying out a self-driving vehicle has been trending online. In the video, Khaw is seated in the front passenger seat of the self-driving car which slows down and comes to a halt as a pedestrian suddenly crosses the road.
The exercise was set up to test the collision prevention system of the new self-driving vehicle model. This is in anticipation of the introduction of self-driving buses and shuttles that will provide services in Punggol, Tengah and the Jurong Innovation District from 2022.
Khaw said yesterday, at the opening of the first autonomous vehicle (AV) test centre, that these three towns will be planned with AV-friendly features. He added:
“We expect that the AVs will greatly enhance the accessibility and connectivity of our public transport system, particularly for the old, families with the young, and the less mobile.
“More importantly, we can gain further insights into how we can develop new towns or refurbish existing ones for the safe mass deployment of AVs.”
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) also announced that it is exploring the use of express self-driving buses to link the North-East Line to the North-South, East-West and Thomson East Coast transit lines. It added that, if implemented, commuters will be able to hail express AV services through their mobile phones.
What happens when a pedestrian crosses the road as a self-driving car (with minister Khaw Boon Wan in the front seat) passes by:
Posted by Channel NewsAsia on Tuesday, 21 November 2017
Netizens responding to this news and, particularly, Khaw’s test drive cheekily asked if Khaw could be the pedestrian crossing the road instead.
Others also noted that the pedestrian crossing the road is wearing a reflective vest and wondered whether a regular civilian would be detected by the vehicle’s system: