Delphi Automotive is leading a new driverless car pilot project with the Singapore Land Transport Authority; the goal of the project is to advance autonomous vehicle technology and open new markets to the tier-one auto supplier.
According to a Delphi press release, the U.K.-based supplier with operations across the United States will provide a fleet of fully autonomous vehicles and develop a cloud-based “mobility-on-demand” software suite to power them. At a business park in the western part of the city, Delphi and Singapore LTA will test a service that could one day allow train riders to summon a low-speed, self-driving shuttle once they exit the train for transportation home, or hail a driverless pod delivering groceries with a few taps of an app.
Delphi’s mobility software development program and autonomous vehicle demonstration is part of the Singapore Autonomous Vehicle Initiative, which was established in 2014 to oversee and manage autonomous vehicle research, testing, and the development of related applications by industry partners.
Those working on mobility and self-driving technologies often name the “first mile” and “last mile” of any commuter’s trip as the most challenging to solve. The Singapore LTA was particularly interested in participating in the pilot project because of the potential to ferry commuters between a mass transit station and their home or workplace. By addressing this need and making the journey easier, researchers hope to increase the number of people using mass transit, reducing overall traffic congestion and vehicle emissions. Delphi was selected as a partner because of its competency with safety technologies such as sensors and electrical distribution, which the company described as “building blocks for a fully automated vehicle.”
In addition to Delphi’s Singapore office, the supplier’s facilities in Troy, MI, Kokomo, IN, and Mountain View, CA, contributed engineering, development, and support work to the driverless car pilot project. Last year, Delphi acquired Pittsburgh, PA-based startup Ottomatika, a Carnegie Mellon spinout that created software that functions as the brain powering Delphi’s network of sensors; Ottomatika’s technology will be front and center in the Singapore pilot.
According to the press release, “developing a true end-to-end automated vehicle ecosystem, including a cloud-servicing capability, opens a host of new business opportunities for Delphi to offer its customers in mobility and connectivity, logistics, agriculture and mining.”
Delphi’s technology is vehicle-agnostic and can be applied in passenger cars, buses, commercial vehicles, and electric vehicles. The company envisions a transportation future where autonomous technologies facilitate vehicle sharing, driverless bus or taxi services, logistics, and long-distance fleet platooning.
Delphi’s pilot program with Singapore LTA will last for three years, with the goal of getting an operational service up and running by 2022. The company plans to conduct future autonomous pilots at other locations in Europe and North America.