A*Star Institute partners Chinese firm BYD to develop electric cars with driverless systems

SINGAPORE - A*STAR's Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) and a Chinese technology firm have signed an agreement to develop electric vehicles with autonomous vehicle sensors to advance clean technology in Singapore's smart transport system.

In collaboration with BYD, one of China's largest companies specialising in battery technologies, the agreement will see more than 100 electric vehicles on the roads here from the second quarter of this year.

Under the agreement, I2R will implement its primary cutting-edge autonomous vehicle (AV) sensory system that collects data on AV intelligence and AV fleet management in these electric vehicles.

These data will be useful for the AV robotic intelligence to learn situation awareness in the context of Singapore traffic rules, road environment and to make intelligent judgements based on predicted and typical responses of drivers.

This will eventually enable the driverless system to co-exist seamlessly, predictably and safely with human-driven vehicles in the future.

The electric cars will feature electronic controls that can activate brakes, control steering and operate other systems in the vehicles. In addition, an autonomous vehicle fleet management system will be able to dynamically allocate AV resources based on real time information or vehicle-location, route, and origin-destination information.

Dr Lee Shiang Long, Executive Director of I2R said: "With I2R's expertise in the autonomous vehicle technologies, BYD's vast experience in electric vehicles and strong support from the relevant Singapore authorities, we hope to benefit the transport industry in Singapore and countries all over the world."

General Manager of BYD Asia-Pacific Auto Sales Group Liu Xueliang said that intelligent cars will be one of the most important directions for the transportation industry in the future.

"The collaboration between BYD and I2R, Singapore's largest ICM research institute, with its deep knowledge in autonomous vehicle technologies, is going to be an exciting journey for us. We believe that a new energy vehicle embedded with autonomous driving technologies will provide drivers with a completely different driving experience," he added.