Delphi Automotive, an automotive parts manufacturing company, has been selected by the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) as a strategic partner to implement autonomous mobility concepts in the country.

In an official statement, the company revealed it will provide a fleet of fully autonomous vehicles, which is comprised of six self-driving Audi SQ5s, employing advanced cameras, lidar, and radar in its autonomous system. The company will also develop a cloud-based mobility-on-demand software (AMoD) suite as part of the autonomous transportation project that launched on August 1.

According to reports by The Verge and Autoblog, Delphi will use the self-driving Audis on three fixed routes, covering a total of about 8 km. In the early stages, a driver will be in the car, ready to take over in case of an emergency. As the project progresses, the human driver will be removed, and if things continue to pan out well, the steering wheel could be removed altogether.

Of course, achieving that goal requires a fair bit of testing beforehand, with the Singapore LTA pilot programme set to run from 2016 into 2019, with plans to transition into an operational service by 2022. The primary purpose of such a service is to make it easier for commuters to transit the “first mile” and “last mile” between a mass transit station (MRT for instance) and their home or work place.

The move is part of the Singapore Autonomous Vehicle Initiative (SAVI), which was formed in 2014 to oversee and manage autonomous vehicle research, test-bedding, and the development of applications and solutions by industry partners and stakeholders.

“As a partner in SAVI, Delphi will use a foundation of the same vehicle technologies that enabled us to successfully complete the first coast-to-coast autonomous drive of the United States in 2015,” said Jeff Owens, chief technology officer, Delphi.


“Developing a cloud-based software servicing capability integrated with the vehicle creates an end-to-end solution that will eventually allow our existing, and many potential new customers, the ability to enter emerging mobility markets,” he added.

The company has already completed an automated drive from San Francisco to New York last year, where another modified SQ5 completed the 5,472 km journey. It hopes to apply the knowledge gained from its various testing programmes to passenger cars, buses, commercial vehicles, purpose-built mobility pods and electric vehicles in the future.