Commuters travelling across NTU, Cleantech Park and Pioneer MRT stations may soon be able to ride on driverless buses.
Today, Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced that it will partner with Energy Research Institute @ NTU ([email protected]) to develop autonomous bus technologies. The agreement is part of LTA’s Request for Information (RFI) on autonomous mobility concepts issued in June 2015.
Two 12-metre autonomous buses will be outfitted with a suite of intelligent sensors. These will also be equipped with charging technology that will enable them to be recharged at bus depots or bus stops.
“Current efforts worldwide have been focused on cars, 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,” said Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU Chief of Staff and Vice President (Research) in a press statement.
Apart from NTU, LTA said it will continue to “to seek collaborations with other potential industry partners to conduct autonomous mobility-on-demand and self-driving bus trials.”
Singapore is ratcheting up its drive to adopt autonomous public transport. In April this year, local transport operator SMRT teamed up with Dutch company 2getthere to develop driverless pods for private estates, business parks and university campuses; in August, nuTonomy introduced self-driving taxis; and just yesterday, the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Ministry of Transport (MOT) issued a request for information for the development of driverless multi-purpose utility vehicles (MPUV) that can clean roads and clear rubbish.
Image Credit: LTA