Singapore has announced the testing of two autonomous cars on public roads in Singapore.
The cars were built by teams from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART). Plans were also announced for the development of an autonomous bus, and driverless trucks will be used by Singapore’s ports.
The cars will be running trial stages at the city’s technology cluster, One North – completing a full circuit by December 2015. They will travel up to 40kmh, and test pedestrian crossings and other obstacles.
Smart Nation Minister Vivian Balakrishnan suggested that the technology could be used in Singapore’s Beeline on-demand bus scheme, which was exclusively revealed by GovInsider this month.
“Imagine the possibilities with [autonomous vehicles] being deployed in the future via Beeline.sg,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “We could ultimately have a real-time demand-driven intelligent transport system that optimises use of land, reduces reliance on our limited manpower but also gives us all more pleasant rides.
Tourists, meanwhile, will be able to take driverless golf buggies at the nation’s botanic Gardens by the Bay complex, and on the Sentosa resort island.
The Port of Singapore Authority also announced plans to use autonomous trucks to carry cargo, with nominated trucks to be short listed by the year’s end.
The trials will involve inter-terminal haulage on a 10km route along a public highway.
“Autonomous truck platooning technology can enable us to make a quantum leap in productivity in the port sector, while addressing the shortage of drivers in the trucking industry, and adding value to their jobs,” said Pang Kin Keong, Permanent Secretary for Transport.
The government said in June that it is seeking ideas on how autonomous vehicle technology can be used elsewhere. Reuters reported that Singapore’s Land Transport Authority has received proposals from eight applicants, including Uber Technologies Inc , BMW AG and the Toyota group’s trading arm, Toyota Tsusho Corp.