Singapore to launch first trial of driverless buses in university

In a move that could see driverless buses plying between a metro station and a university, Singapore's transport authority announced Wednesday it was launching a trial of the vehicles.

The deal was inked Wednesday by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) Energy Research Institute, which will develop two electric hybrid driverless buses.

The single-decker buses, which can accommodate up to 80 passengers, will be fitted with sensors and an autonomous system that can effectively navigate the city state's roads.

The buses are expected to ply between the 2-square-kilometre NTU campus and the adjacent CleanTech Park, with plans to route the buses to the nearby Pioneer train station.

The new buses will also be fitted with the ability to charge at a bus stop or depot.

The university had earlier trialled a driverless electric shuttle on the same route in 2013.

"Current efforts worldwide have been focused on cars so this autonomous bus trial ... will aim to improve road safety, reduce vehicle congestion, alleviate pollution and address manpower challenges," NTU's vice president of research, Lam Khin Yong, said in a statement.

LTA had announced yesterday that the trial area for driverless cars in the one-north business park had been doubled to 12 kilometres, on the same day a driverless car from software company nuTonomy collided with a lorry.

The National Envirnonment Agency and the Ministry of Transport had also issued a request for information on Tuesday to develop driverless vehicles to clear rubbish and clean roads.

Last update: Wed, 19/10/2016 - 12:36

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