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Arup presents first-of-its-kind AV study in Southeast Asia

Jennifer Shand Jennifer Shand Australasia Press Office,Sydney
25 January 2022

What do we want Singapore’s future towns to look like in 2050 and how could future mobility innovations such as autonomous vehicles (AVs) support our goals? In a study commissioned by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), our team worked on defining people-first benefits in AV-enabled towns. 

Arup’s ground-breaking study is showcased at the URA’s Reimagining Urban Mobility with Autonomous Vehicles exhibition, part of the city’s Long-Term Plan Review and the current theme, The Future of Mobility.

We shifted the design focus from the AV technology to how we could use AVs to help create great places that support active mobility, regenerative design, and climate change resilience. ” Michael Chadney Michael Chadney Future Mobility Lead, Singapore

A group of people looking at an exhibition on urban design A group of people looking at an exhibition on urban design
Michael Chadney talking about Arup's research at the 'Reimagining Urban Mobility with Autonomous Vehicles' exhibition in Singapore

The Arup-led study is a first-of-its-kind research project in Southeast Asia, initiated with the Singapore Government and leading academic research institute partners. In a move away from technology-led conversations on AVs, we used an outcome-led approach that brought people-first design principles to the centre of decisions defining Singapore’s urban future. 

Our research showcases new planning and design strategies including design ideas for future town configurations, future streets, and future mobility hubs. 

The Arup-led study defines people-first benefits in AV-enabled towns. It’s a first-of-its-kind research project in Southeast Asia. © Arup
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It explored how AV-enabled towns could unlock opportunities to deliver benefits such as healthier environments, more liveable communities, flexible streets and places, efficient networks, and optimised operations. These future town guidelines can be gradually implemented to reach key benefits while not being dependent on AV technology. 

“AVs are set to transform the transport and mobility landscape in the long term,” said Lim Eng Hwee, Chief Executive Officer of the URA.

“Harnessing the full benefits of AV technology starts with land use planning and good urban design, where we can reimagine, re-design and repurpose many of the spaces used for mobility today. This will improve the way we live, work, play and move in our city in the future.”

Artist's illustration of people walking along busy street in day time along side Autonomous Vehicles Artist's illustration of people walking along busy street in day time along side Autonomous Vehicles
Arup’s study shifted the design focus from the AV technology to how we could use AVs to help create great places that support active mobility, regenerative design, and climate change resilience. © Arup

Reimagining Urban Mobility with Autonomous Vehicles is the latest in the Authority’s Urban Lab series of showcases on innovative research and development ideas. Officially launched by Tan Kiat How, Singapore’s Minister of State for Communications and Information & National Development, visitors are welcome until 29 March 2022. Exhibition details can be found here.