Self-directed shuttle buses are now picking up travelers on Singapore streets as fraction of a year-long research to evaluate the commercial feasibility of these services. This stage of the test comes after 1.5 Months of testing on road and is limited to the Kent Ridge campus of National University of Singapore.
Controlled by ComfortDelgro (the local transport firm), the driverless NUSmart Shuttle runs along a predefined 1.6 Km path on weekdays and carries almost 12 passengers. The electric vehicles normally operate from 10.20 AM to 11.20 AM and from 2.20 PM to 3.20 PM at intervals of 20 minutes, with working times to be expanded gradually during the test, as per the firm, which claimed that the service might be offered free to users.
The bus will be stopped when it rains to let the vehicles to regulate their internal systems. However, they might stay on the steers at a later stage during wet weather, claimed the transport firm.
Developed by EasyMile (the driverless tech vendor), the vehicles are fitted with different sensors to identify possible hurdles and operate on their own hardware and software platforms, without help from exterior systems, to navigate their way on the streets. These autonomous systems (EasyMile EZ10) have been comprised in over 230 deployments all over 26 nations, transporting over 320,000 travelers over 600,000 km, as per EasyMile.
On a related note, Singapore earlier launched a set of national rule to direct the local market in the rollout and “safe” development of autonomous cars, summarizing guidelines associated with functional safety, vehicle behavior, data formats, and cybersecurity.
Dubbed as TR 68 (Technical Reference 68), the rules were designed over the last year by different representatives from the autonomous vehicle research, sector, and education institutions as well as government organizations. The effort was spearheaded by the Manufacturing Standards Committee of the Singapore Standards Council.