SINGAPORE (Aug 20): Singapore’s first on-demand autonomous shuttle public trial at Sentosa was officially launched today.
The public trial will run from Aug 26 to Nov 15 this year and will see four autonomous vehicles (AVs) – two minibuses and two smaller shuttles – deployed for the trial.
During this period, visitors to Sentosa will be able to hail an autonomous shuttle via the “Ride Now Sentosa” mobile app or at kiosks along a 5.7km route to bring them to selected destinations around the island. These include Siloso Point, Beach Station, Palawan Beach, Tanjong Beach and Sentosa Golf Club.
A safety driver will be on board every shuttle during the trial period. He will be trained to take over immediate control of the vehicle should the need arise.
This service will be provided free of charge and will operate for four hours on weekdays – 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm.
The autonomous shuttle is developed by the Land Systems arm of ST Engineering in partnership with the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC). The trial service is supported by ST Engineering’s Autonomous Vehicle Management System, which analyses passenger demand and optimises route management for ride-sharing.
The AVs come equipped with various technologies such as radar, LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), GPS (Global Positioning System), odometry and computer vision, to help them sense their environment and identify appropriate navigation paths, obstacles and signages.
The autonomous shuttles have been involved in on-road testing since June 2018.
Loh Ngai Seng, permanent secretary for transport and chairman of the committee on Autonomous Road Transport for Singapore, says, “Autonomous vehicle (AV) technology has the potential to transform our public transport system and the way we move around in the future. This trial will provide important insights into commuter experience and the interaction of AVs with other road users, as we seek to enhance urban mobility by deploying AV technology safely in our towns.”