Implementation of autonomous vehicles seems like something that will only happen many years down the line. In the United States, so much needs to change, whether it be infrastructure, laws, ownership, etc. Actual adoption of these vehicles could take at least 30 years, and that is looking at things optimistically.
In Singapore, it is a completely different story. There have already been tests of autonomous vehicles (as we found out about in depth from the Nutonomy presentation). From the presentation, we learned that Singapore is the perfect place for AV’s, due to both the weather and the laws and regulations. As it does not snow (it does rain in Singapore), these cars should have relatively good visibility when it comes to roads (in comparison with snow). The Minister for Transport is openly behind AVs, stating that “Autonomous vehicles are fast on its way to becoming a reality on our roads…They can enhance the efficiency and convenience of our land transportation system. Thus, it is important that we do not impede their growth as some cities have done.”
However, there is something else that I believe sets Singapore apart from other countries: car ownership. In the US, roughly 50% of Americans own cars. In Singapore, it is a different story.
Only 15% of Singaporeans own cars, so there is a built mobility market of roughly 1 billion dollars already in place. The government has made car ownership unaffordable for the most part with high taxes and fees. Because of this, there is a market for Shared Autonomous Vehicles that will not face much resistance, as most people do not own their own cars to begin with.
Autonomous Vehicles will add a whole wave of benefits to Singaporean culture, not including just the financial repercussions. They will create greater fuel efficiency (reducing carbon emissions, reduce road congestion, save lives (most accidents are the drivers fault), and allow the elderly/disabled to be independent amongst other things. We have discussed the benefits at length, so I will not expand on all the good that will come from AVs.
Singapore will be the first to market with self driving cars (level 4 and 5), and it could potentially be in the next handful of years. It will become a safer place, a more efficient place, and it will stimulate the economy. Because of that, Singapore, already the world’s most expensive city, will go to a whole new level. They will be on the forefront of the next wave of technological advances, as their efficiency will be unmatched. More business will take place there, as the world’s most successful people will flock to Singapore, taking advantage of all the benefits of self-driving cars. AV implementation in Singapore will happen, and bring them to the forefront of all advances in the world.