The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) is pleased to announce that visitors to the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) may encounter an entirely new form of transportation in the form of a completely autonomous vehicle, which will be tested in the Nursery Park over the coming months. Designed and manufactured in France, this electric vehicle is 100% self-driving as well as being environmentally friendly.

Autonomous vehicles are an exciting new development in the landscape of mobility. Launched in October 2015, the “NAVYA ARMA” autonomous vehicle can carry up to 11 passengers at a capped speed of 15km/hr on a test route within the Nursery Park. The ARMA is the result of years of research and expertise into autonomous vehicles and is one of the first and most complete autonomous, or driverless vehicles in the world. Forty-five vehicles of this particular model are already in operation globally, with services available in France, USA, Switzerland, Qatar, New-Zealand, Australia and Singapore.

The ARMA is equipped with a wide range of sensors and different technologies to provide full 3D vision allowing it to map out the environment, detect obstacles in its path and identify traffic and road signs. In addition, the on-board computing system enables the vehicle to interact with its surroundings. It is intended to provide efficient mobility solutions in terms of space and energy.

It has always been an objective of the WKCDA to provide barrier-free access and facilities for people in need. The introduction of the ARMA promises to enhance street-level pedestrian connectivity within the District and encourage more members of the community to step into the world of art and culture.

A one month trial period will be carried out by the WKCDA during which a series of tests will be conducted to ensure the autonomous vehicle gives optimum performance under all circumstances and in different weather conditions. A comprehensive report will be produced after the tests and submitted to the Transport Department. It is envisaged that at a later stage in the testing visitors to WKCD may have a chance to experience a ride on this autonomous vehicle upon approval from relevant Government departments.

“The test is part of WKCDA’s broader efforts in creating a pleasant, traffic-free, pedestrian-friendly environment within the District,” said Duncan Pescod, Chief Executive Officer of WKCDA. “As all normal vehicular traffic will be directed underground in the future, the avenue in the District will be the major activity spine to provide direct access throughout the district. The introduction of autonomous vehicles in the District will fulfil our commitment to make our venues accessible to all, to ensure that everyone can enjoy the art and cultural activities we present.”

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About West Kowloon Cultural District
Located on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, the West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong. With a complex of theatres, performance spaces, and M+, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances, and cultural events, as well as provide 23 hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.