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NTU-NXP to develop smart cars test bed in Singapore

Staff writer |
Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and NXP Semiconductors are building a high-tech living test bed for smart cars and traffic systems on the NTU campus.

Supported by Singapore Economic Development Board, the new NTU-NXP Smart Mobility Test Bed will test and develop new technologies for vehicles to communicate with each other and with designated roadside infrastructures. Known as V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) technology, this will push new frontiers in mobility.

The agreement was signed by NTU Chief of Staff and Vice-President for Research Professor Lam Khin Yong and Mr Drue Freeman, Senior Vice President of global automotive sales & marketing at NXP. The signing was witnessed by Mr Lim Kok Kiang, Assistant Managing Director of the Singapore Economic Development Board.

Built using the latest technology from NTU and NXP, companies, research institutes and government agencies will be able to deploy, test, and validate future V2X solutions in a real world scenario with this S$22 million campus-wide test bed. Such V2X applications will involve wireless communications between vehicles and with intelligent infrastructure such as traffic cameras and traffic lights.

NTU’s sprawling campus, the largest amongst the universities in Singapore, has a robust internal transportation network involving cars, buses and even electric vehicle prototypes. This smart mobility test bed will involve 100 vehicles and 50 roadside units to research V2X technologies over the next four years.

In a V2X demonstration at NTU, three connected cars were shown to interact directly with one another and exploit real-time data from each other and the roadside infrastructure.

The intelligent V2X system, which is capable of wirelessly collecting and analysing data from other vehicles and the surrounding smart infrastructure over a distance of up to two kilometres, will ultimately be required to enable widespread adoption of fully autonomous driving.

The technology will improve road safety and traffic flow by giving drivers advanced warning of upcoming hazards such as dangerous road conditions, unexpected traffic jams, approaching emergency vehicles or road works, long before such hazards enter the drivers’ field of vision or become detectable by other Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) sensors.

According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation, V2X safety functions can reduce multi-car accident figures by more than 80 per cent. V2X-capable vehicles will also be capable of receiving information from intelligent road signs and automatically recognise the operating cycle of traffic lights.

The NTU-NXP joint initiative will focus on various core areas critical to the real world adoption of V2X. These include enhancement of V2X communications to ensure maximum reliability and security against potential cyber threats, essential for ensuring the safety of passengers as well as protecting drivers’ personal data.

The collaboration will also pave the way to realise Singapore’s Smart Mobility 2030 vision to optimise transport systems and enhance commuter travel experience with the latest advancements in transport technologies.

The NTU-NXP partnership is timely given that Singapore is now looking to develop the next-generation Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system using satellite positioning technology.

NXP and NTU will be inviting high-tech companies, research organisations, academia and government agencies to participate in this test bed so as to build a Smart Mobility Consortium together.

The proposed consortium is aimed at researching and testing secure, smart connectivity and mobility solutions that can improve the traffic flow in cities, avoid road accidents, and enhance the user experience for mobility services.

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