By James Ayre
A new autonomous bus pilot project has been launched in Singapore.
The new driverless bus trial is to be based around routes between Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and CleanTech Park, and also possibly the Pioneer MRT station.
The Land Transport Authority and NTU’s Energy Research Institute will be conducting the pilot in accordance with an agreement signed on October 19th. This agreement follows a “Request for Information” exercise on autonomous mobility concepts called for a while back by the Land Transport Authority.
The move also follows the recent start of a driverless taxi pilot in Singapore.
Here’s more from some regional coverage on the subject: “NTU is one of the first research institutions to have trialled a self-driving electric shuttle within the campus and CleanTech Park since 2013. It will now translate that know-how to develop two electric hybrid buses, equipping the vehicles with sensors and other capabilities to allow them to operate without a driver. The 12m-long buses could potentially ferry people between NTU and CleanTech Park in the Jurong Innovation District, to even Pioneer MRT station in the future. The single-deck buses can accommodate about 80 passengers. The vehicles will also be equipped to charge at a bus stop or depot.”
“Current efforts worldwide have been focused on cars,” stated Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU Chief of Staff and Vice-President of Research. “So, this autonomous bus trial is the first of its kind in Singapore that will aim to improve road safety, reduce vehicle congestion, alleviate pollution and address manpower challenges.”