Singapore is set to trial two 12-metre, full-size driverless buses in Jurong West near the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) conducted by the Land Transport Authority and the university’s Energy Research Institute, under an agreement signed at the Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition.
The buses will reportedly be capable of carrying up to 80 people between NTU and the adjacent “eco-business” CleanTech Park less than 2km away. There is also a suggestion that the trial could be extended to a longer, circular route of around 8km while recharging at the bus terminus and the bus stops with charging masts.
NTU and CleanTech Park have already hosted a driverless Navia shuttle and recently nuTonomy’s self-driving taxis began trials in the Lion City.
“Current efforts worldwide have been focused on cars,” NTU’s vice president of research Professor Lam Khin Yong was quoted saying by Channel NewsAsia. “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.”
NTU is one of the first research institutions to have trialled a self-driving electric shuttle within the campus and CleanTech Park since 2013.