Reka: Malaysia warming up to autonomous vehicles
13 Mar 2023
Malaysia is preparing for the future of mobility with growing interest in autonomous vehicles, which are expected to increase significantly in the next decade.
According to Mohd Amri Mohd Din, the COO of local AI automation company Reka, the initial rollout of autonomous vehicles is expected to happen in specific industries such as logistics and manufacturing where there is currently a demand for them.
“So if you’re looking from a commercial point of view, the rollout for autonomous vehicles will be into this kind of specific niche industries, where you need to use a high level of automation to increase efficiency,” he told SunBiz.
He said that autonomous vehicles have lower interest compared to electric vehicles (EV) due to lower demand for automation.
“However, the adoption of autonomous vehicles in this region – although slower compared with, say, in the United States – is expected to rise significantly in the next decade. At the fastest, we are looking at three to five years,” Mohd Amri said.
Malaysia is still in a testing stage with autonomous vehicle infrastructure due to the lower demand.
Mohd Amri stressed that there is a need for this infrastructure to enable adoption for public use.
“For instance, Singapore started testing autonomous vehicles for public use by dedicating specific lanes for them in certain sections of the city and implementing speed limits for these vehicles. This is one of the easiest ways to implement autonomous vehicles in the country,” he suggested.
Several companies, including Tesla, Google, and Uber, are currently developing and testing autonomous cars.
Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Conference earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company’s upcoming affordable EV will operate mainly as an autonomous car when it eventually arrives.
According to a report by the Malaysian Automotive, Robotics, and IoT Institute, MARii, the Malaysian government is actively encouraging the development and adoption of autonomous vehicles to address the challenges of traffic congestion, safety, and pollution.
The government has introduced various initiatives, such as the National Automotive Policy 2020 to support the growth of the autonomous vehicle industry in the country.
Autonomous cars, also known as driverless cars, are vehicles that are capable of navigating and operating on roads without human input. These vehicles use sensors to perceive the environment and make decisions about how to navigate it safely.
There are different levels of autonomy for self-driving cars, as defined by the United States-based Society of Automotive Engineers. The levels range from zero to five, with level zero being no automation and five being full automation.
The potential benefits of autonomous cars include improved safety and increased mobility for people who are unable to drive.
However, there are also potential risks and challenges associated with autonomous cars, such as cybersecurity risks, ethical considerations, and the need for new infrastructure and regulations.
While there have been some high-profile accidents involving autonomous cars, proponents of the technology believe that it has the potential to revolutionise transport and improve safety on the roads.
Source: The Sun Daily