Driverless buses will be seen roaming the roads between Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and CleanTech Park in Jurong.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) and NTU’s Energy Research Institute ([email protected]), signed an agreement on Wednesday (19 October) to develop autonomous bus technologies.
The [email protected] at NTU, working with the LTA, is said to develop and test autonomous bus technologies, and run a trial of two 12-metre electric hybrid buses.
During the period of the trial, existing buses will be fitted with intelligent sensors and charging technology, as well as an autonomous system with the means to ‘effectively navigate Singapore’s local road traffic and climate conditions,’ as requested by LTA.
These self-driving buses will feature:
- Autonomous navigation,
- Localization with 3D LIDAR mapping & DGPS,
- Lane detection,
- Pedestrian detection with day and night operation,
- V2V and V21 communication,
- Traffic light and sign detection, and
- Opportunistic charging technology, enabling them to recharge during stops at a bus depot or bus stops.
Test routes will include the roads between NTU and CleanTech Park in Jurong, and afterwards between these two locations and Pioneer MRT station.
Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU chief of staff and vice president (research) said: “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.”
NTU had previously ventured into autonomous vehicle technology with a driverless electric shuttle plying its campus and CleanTech Park in 2013.
It also has recently partnered with The Norwegian University of Science and Technology to research in renewable energy and electric transportation.
Along with the autonomous bus technologies, LTA also announced that it will partner NTU on a research study to develop a real-time condition monitoring system for the rail network.
The LTA’s chief executive Chew Men Leong said at the opening ceremony of the three-day Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition on Wednesday (19 October), “The prototype is expected to pick up budding problems with the traction power to enhance preventive maintenance”.
“This will be done using a patented technology with fault diagnostic capability that can be used around the clock without disrupting normal train operations,” he said.
Transport Minister, Mr Khaw Boon Wan had earlier said in June 2013 that driver-less cars will soon become the reality in cities, and possibly as soon as in the next 10 years. However the transition from human drivers to driveless cars may be bumpy as a driveless-car had its first accident with a lorry just less than two months after its trial took off in August this year.