Singapore’s Land Transport Authority and Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) announced today that it would be launching a trial for autonomous buses.
According to a joint statement, the trial will lead to the development of two fully-autonomous 12-metre buses. For the trial, the roads between NTU and CleanTech Park, which is located within Jurong Innovation District, have been earmarked as potential test routes for the self-driving bus trial.
It follows partnerships inked by LTA with Delphi and nuTonomy earlier this year to conduct autonomous mobility-on-demand trials in the one-north test bed.
The trial has now moved onto the stage where major companies like ride hailing app Grab come on board as partners for the trial. However, according to Singapore's The Independent, the driverless car trial had its first accident this week, as one car collided with a truck.
As part of the development of the buses, technology will be developed to allow opportunistic charging technology so the buses can be recharged when they stop at a bus depot or bus stops.
Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU chief of staff and vice president (research). said: “NTU’s deep expertise in sustainability technologies, engineering and industry collaboration has contributed towards developing new solutions for public transportation, such as first-and-last-mile autonomous shuttles and buses. 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.”
The LTA said it would continue to seek collaborations with other potential industry partners to conduct autonomous mobility-on-demand and self-driving bus trials.