In 2015, Singapore was named one of the 12 most technologically advanced countries in the world.
And the country’s latest project shows that it is still at the forefront of innovative technology.
Self-driving buses will soon begin testing in Singapore in the hope of dealing with the challenges posed by its limited land and labour.
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Self-driving buses will soon begin testing in Singapore, in the hope of dealing with the challenges posed by its limited land and labour (artist’s impression)
WHY DOES SINGAPORE WANT SELF-DRIVING BUSES?
The country has several reasons for beginning the bus trial, including:
– Prompting residents to use more shared vehicles and public transport
– Improve road safety
– Reduce vehicle congestion
– Alleviate pollution
– Address manpower challenges
Countries around the world are encouraging the development of such technologies, and high-density Singapore is hoping driverless vehicles will prompt its residents to use more shared vehicles and public transport.
‘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 Land Transport Authority (LTA) hopes eventually to outfit existing buses with sensors and develop a self-driving system that can effectively navigate Singapore’s traffic and climate conditions.
Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU chief of staff and vice-president, told the Straits Times: ‘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 trial will see self-driving buses ferrying commuters between Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the nearby Pioneer MRT station.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) hopes eventually to outfit existing buses with sensors and develop a self-driving system that can effectively navigate Singapore’s traffic and climate conditions
The trial will see self-driving buses ferrying commuters between Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the nearby Pioneer MRT station (artist’s impression)
It is unclear when the trial will start.
Earlier this week, Singapore said it would seek information from the industry and research institutes on the potential use of self-driving vehicles for street cleaning and refuse collection.
The pilot further expands the trial of autonomous vehicles in Singapore.
In August, the LTA signed partnerships with two firms, Delphi and nuTonomy, to test driverless car technology.
And another LTA-NTU agreement was signed this week, to boost rail reliability through the development of a real-time condition monitoring prototype.
This will help detect early signs of defects in traction power.
The developers hope that the autonomous buses will improve road safety, reduce vehicle congestion, alleviate pollution and address manpower challenges (artist’s impression)
COULD SELF-DRIVING BUSES PREVENT TRAFFIC JAMES?
Self-driving cars are expected to usher in a new era of mobility, safety and convenience. The problem, say transportation researchers, is that people will use them too much.
Experts foresee robot cars chauffeuring children to school, dance class and baseball practice.
The disabled and elderly will have new mobility.
Commuters will be able to work, sleep, eat or watch movies on the way to the office.
People may stay home more because they can send their cars to do things like pick up groceries they’ve ordered online.
Researchers believe the number of miles driven will skyrocket.
It’s less certain whether that will mean a corresponding surge in traffic congestion, but it’s a clear possibility.