Singapore will Start Driverless Bus Services in Three Townships by 2022
in Punggol, Tengah and Jurong, LTA Seeks Feedback and RFI from Stakeholders
Singapore has called for feedback as it seeks to roll out self-driving bus and shuttle services in three towns beginning 2022.
The Request For Information (RFI), launched on Nov 22 by the Ministry of Transport and the Land Transport Authority (LTA), will be open until May 31, 2018. It seeks feedback from industry players and researchers on an upcoming pilot for autonomous vehicle (AV) services in Punggol, Tengah and the Jurong Innovation District in 2022.
According to Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, the AV buses and shuttles will run during off-peak hours and are expected to boost the accessibility and connectivity of Singapore’s public transportation system, particularly for the elderly, families and those who are less mobile.
“More importantly, we can gain further insights into how we can develop new towns or refurbish existing ones for the safe mass deployment of autonomous vehicles. The biggest challenge for autonomous vehicles is not the development of the technology, but how we can safely incorporate it into our living environment, through appropriate regulations and town planning,” says Khaw.
The Transport Minister was speaking at the launch of Singapore’s first AV test centre, situated next to the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on a 2-hectare space. It is jointly developed by NTU, the LTA and JTC Corporation.
The test circuit is designed to replicate Singapore’s road and traffic conditions with a rain simulator as well as a flood zone to test how AVs perform under different weather conditions.
In April, the LTA partnered ST Kinetics to develop and conduct trials on autonomous electric buses. Sources familiar with the matter previously told Motion Digest that the AVs could be rolled out by 2020.
The developments add momentum to Singapore’s various AV initiatives as part of its vision of a driverless vehicle future. In January, it will host the second Autonomous Vehicles Asia Conference 2018 where leading experts and industry insiders will share insights on AV readiness across Asian cities over two days.