Daily Management Review

Self-Driving Buses to be Tried Out in Singapore


10/19/2016




Self-Driving Buses to be Tried Out in Singapore
As the city-state of Singapore pushes ahead with its vision of using autonomous technology to help deal with the challenges posed by its limited land and labor, it signed an agreement on Wednesday to start testing self-driving buses.
 
As part of the trial, commuters between Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the nearby Pioneer MRT station would be ferried soon by self-driving buses.
 
Equipped with batteries that will be charged when the opportunity arises, such as whenever they stop at a bus stop or depot, these "green" buses will be electric-hybrid vehicles.
 
The Nanyang Technological University's (NTU's) Energy Research Institute (ERI@N) signed the agreement on Wednesday to develop autonomous bus technologies of the pilot project in a collaboration with the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
 
Senior Minister of State for Transport Ng Chee Meng witnessed the inking at the opening ceremony of the Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition (SITCE) 2016.
 
A self-driving sensor that can help vehicles navigate Singapore's local road traffic and climate conditions would be developed and two existing buses would be fitted with intelligent sensors by ERI@N under the trial.
 
High density Singapore is hoping driverless vehicles will prompt its residents to use more shared vehicles and public transport even as countries around the world are encouraging the development of such technologies.
 
"They say big dreams start small, so we are collaborating with NTU (Nanyang Technological University) on an autonomous bus trial, starting with two electric hybrid buses," Singapore's transport regulator said in a Facebook post.
 
The sensors and self-driving system are hoped to eventually be outfitted in existing buses by the Land Transport Authority.
 
However the authority did not specify when the trial would start. 
 
"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).
With plans to possibly extend it to Pioneer MRT station, the roads between NTU and Cleantech Park have been identified for the trial for a start.
 
The trial of autonomous vehicles in Singapore is further expanded by the LTA-NTU pilot project. To test driverless car technology at one-north, the LTA signed partnerships with two firms, Delphi and nuTonomy, in August.
 
To boost rail reliability through the development of a real-time condition monitoring prototype, another LTA-NTU agreement was signed on Wednesday. This will help detect early signs of defects in traction power.
 
Information on the potential use of self-driving vehicles for street cleaning and refuse collection would be sought by the city-state from the industry and research institutes, Singapore said earlier this week.
 
A driverless car collided with a truck on Tuesday when changing lanes in another western Singapore district where self-driving vehicles are also being tested. It was investigating the accident, said Developer nuTonomy, which started trials of the world’s first robo-taxis in August.
 
(Source:www.fortune.com & www.sraitstimes.com) 






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