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ST Engineering trials Smart Bus Stop outside Plaza Singapura pumping out cooler, cleaner air

BUS commuters can enjoy a cooler and more comfortable wait outside Plaza Singapura in Orchard Road from Monday.

A trial bus stop, built by ST Engineering, features overhead nozzles that deliver cool air of as low as 24 deg C and which is as much as 90 per cent cleaner, with harmful PM2.5 particles filtered out.

The Smart Bus Stop also has a high-tech camera system that tracks commuter flow and average waiting times. It has algorithms which can monitor when there is unattended baggage or suspicious individuals loitering around.

The pilot bus stop, which was erected alongside an existing one outside Plaza Singapura, employs ST Engineering's in-house developed Airbitat Oasis air cooling and purification system.

Compared with conventional air conditioners which employ refrigerants and generate heat, the Airbitat Oasis creates a reservoir of cold water through evaporative cooling which is, in turn, used to cool the air it blows out. The system has been deployed in places such as the Singapore Zoo and Resorts World Sentosa.

Sensors embedded in the bus-stop infrastructure help to monitor air temperature and purity, which are displayed on a touchscreen board.

The bus stop, which will be put on trial for a year, was developed by ST Engineering subsidiary Innosparks, an R&D outfit and start-up incubator. It took 18 months to put the bus stop together, from conceptualisation to building.

Innosparks head Gareth Tang said that the air-cooling system and sensors can be retrofitted to other existing bus stops, making their bus-stop concept easily transferable. Mr Tang, however, declined to reveal how much the firm's bus stop costs, but noted that it costs about 60 cents an hour to run.

The Land Transport Authority's group director for public transport, Mr Yeo Teck Guan, said: "We are pleased to provide a platform for innovative ideas to be test bedded to improve land transport... We welcome more local companies to test bed ideas that could help make commuting more pleasant."