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Singapore set to trial autonomous shuttle buses through mobile app

Singapore, a renowned test-bed for self-driving vehicles, plans to launch a public trial of driverless buses which can be booked through an app.

Singapore has been one of the biggest hubs in the world to test this technology and has invited foreign companies to also trial their own.

According to the local company behind the pre-planned demo, ST engineering, four autonomous mini-buses will take to the streets and follow a 5.7 kilometers route on Sentosa Island. This is expected to take place on the resort island from August 26 to November 15.

The autonomous shuttle buses will provide visitors with a route which will take them to selected destinations such as the historical fort, the beach and the golf club. Visitors will be able to access this through their smartphones on an app. However, visitors without mobile phones will be able to book the driverless shuttles from kiosks along the way.

 Also, the buses will have a drive on hand in case of an emergency. On Tuesday, at a demonstration, the vehicles managed to communicate with one another and navigated through main road intersections with minimal difficulty.

President and CEO of ST Engineering, Vincent Chong, stated that these buses are built to “operate in complex urban environments” and were equipped with “advanced, multisensory technology”.

Within the next few years, the company plans to roll out the shuttles in other parts of the country in an effort to tackle the shortage of drivers within the country.