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Singapore lays groundwork for self-driving bus trial

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 - 09:44
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AFTER launching the world's first self-driving taxi trial, Singapore is now looking at self-driving buses that can serve commuters.

AFTER launching the world's first self-driving taxi trial, Singapore is now looking at self-driving buses that can serve commuters.

These 12 m driverless buses are expected to ply roads between Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the CleanTech Park in western Singapore in a trial.

The trial can be extended to ferry commuters from NTU and CleanTech Park to Pioneer MRT station, said Land Transport Authority (LTA).

To facilitate the roll-out of the trial, LTA and NTU's Energy Research Institute (ERI) inked a partnership on Wednesday at the Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition.

This collaboration will see ERI test and develop its self-driving technology with two 12 m electric hybrid buses.

ERI will install buses with sensors and develop an autonomous system that can navigate Singapore's local road traffic and climate conditions so that these driverless buses can operate safely and efficiently, said LTA.

This self-driving bus trial comes just weeks after a first-ever self-driving taxi trial was launched in Biopolis in western Singapore in August.

One of the taxis, developed by start-up nuTonomy, was involved in an accident with a lorry on Tuesday. No one was injured. Investigations are ongoing.

At Wednesday's event, LTA and NTU also inked another partnership to develop and design a real-time condition monitoring prototype to detect early signs of defects in traction power system for Singapore's rail network. This aids in preventive maintenance.

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