Now it gets real – Malaysia approves first autonomous vehicle testing routes in Cyberjaya by Futurise and Ministry of Transport
By Digital News Asia December 23, 2020
- Safety officer in vehicle at all times, compulsory visual identifier
- Important milestone for Futurise & future of autonomous vehicles
Futurise today announced the approval of the Cyberjaya Malaysia Autonomous Vehicle (MyAV) Testing Route that was developed together with the Ministry of Transport (MOT) under the National Regulatory Sandbox (NRS) initiative. The goal is to accelerate the future development of autonomous vehicles.
The project is supported by other relevant agencies such as Sepang Municipal Council (MPSepang), Road Transport Department Malaysia (JPJ), Land Public Transport Agency (APAD), Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS), Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) and Automotive Development Centre, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (ADC, UTM).
At the end of 2019, the guideline for The AV Trialing on Public Roads in Cyberjaya was completed and endorsed by MOT and MPSepang before work on the testing routes began. The guideline outlined a Safety Management Plan that includes key safety risk and mitigation procedures such as the necessary security measures.
Taking into consideration risks to other road users, a well-trained safety officer has to be in the vehicle at all times and a compulsory visual identifier is required to be used at all times during the trialing journey.
All the required infrastructure for the 7km testing route was considered and put in place. This includes road signages indicating a zone for the autonomous vehicle testing to be placed at each entry point of the AV testing areas.
Commenting on the project, Isham Ishak, Secretary General of the Ministry of Transport said, “The Government has to be a step ahead in terms of providing guidance, strong infrastructure and quick to assess new regulations needed in order to ensure that the future regulatory framework that governs transportation is robust and able to adapt quickly to accommodate new technologies and trends. The future of autonomous vehicles is expected to be huge, penetrating even the trucking industry, vessels or other passenger carrying vehicles like buses.”
He stressed the need to provide a mobility system that addresses the need of the rakyat that promotes safety, inclusivity, provides strategic direction, strengthens and streamlines all regulatory framework initiatives. “Therefore, in addition to meeting these needs, the guideline represents MOT’s commitment to support comprehensive R&D activities and encouraging the growth of this industry especially the expansion of local expertise on AV technologies in Malaysia.”
In order to systematically establish a regulatory sandbox for Malaysia as a mechanism of economic and innovation policy, the NRS was first announced in 2018 with Futurise mandated to drive the National Regulatory Sandbox initiative. This announcement marks an important milestone for Futurise and the future of Malaysia in autonomous vehicle development.
Mahadhir Aziz, Futurise CEO stated, “The next step will be plans to expand the coverage to a few key locations such as Putrajaya. Self-driving vehicles and shared mobility could provide transportation to many people. It is key to helping people who have difficulties accessing transportation.”
He notes that the deployment could also mean job opportunities for the disabled community. “With the opportunity to shape tomorrow’s mobility environment and ecosystem, Futurise as public policy advisor for industry and government is looking into future policy that will account for not only the regulatory aspects but also the job creation part of the equation.”
eMoovit Technology Sdn Bhd (eMoovit) under MooVita group is the first company to receive approval to use the route for the testing of their autonomous car. The startup was founded in 2016, specialising in providing vehicle agnostic driverless software solutions for urban environments. The company develops component-based driverless software solutions, which turns certain vehicles into autonomous vehicles which are able to be deployed within different applications, such as first/last mile transportation, logistic transportation and utility solutions.
All applications to utilise the Cyberjaya MyAV testing route must be directed to Futurise as the secretariat. The application will be considered by the MyAV Evaluation Committee which is chaired by MOT together with other members of the Committee such as MPSepang, JPJ, APAD, MIROS, MARii and Automotive Development Center Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (ADC, UTM).