The country’s first autonomous vehicle test route on public roads is now in service, with Cyberview-subsidiary Futurise today officially announcing the approval of the Cyberjaya Malaysia Autonomous Vehicle (MyAV) testing route, which was developed together with the ministry of transport (MOT) under the National Regulatory Sandbox initiative.

There are two routes stretching seven kilometres in total, The Star reports. The first is a short course, looping around the Futurise and Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) buildings, while the second is a longer route that includes movement across Persiaran Apec, Persiaran Cyberpoint and Persiaran Rimba.

It was also announced that eMoovit Technology is the first company to receive approval to use the route for the testing of its autonomous vehicle testbed, which is a self-driving Proton Exora. The company, operating under the umbrella of Singaporean company MooVita, specialises in providing driverless software solutions for urban environments.

The guidelines for testing include the presence of a trained safety officer in the vehicle and the requirement of a compulsory visual identifier to be used at all times during evaluations. The vehicle must also have its signal lights on, and road signages must be placed at each entry point of the route to inform other drivers that an AV is being trialled.

According to Futurise CEO Mahadzir Aziz, the next step for the programme will be to expand the coverage to a few key locations such as Putrajaya. He said that Futurise, as public policy advisor for the industry and government, is looking into a future policy that will account for not only the regulatory aspects but also the creation of jobs.

Transport ministry secretary-general Datuk Isham Ishak said that the future of autonomous vehicles is expected to be huge, and the project represents the ministry’s commitment to support comprehensive R&D activities and encourage the growth of the industry, especially with regards to expanding local expertise.

The test routes will allow the trialling of autonomous vehicles and systems as they emerge under real-world conditions. It is expected that not just cars but autonomous buses will be trialled in due course. All applications to utilise the Cyberjaya AV testing route must be directed to Futurise as the secretariat.