Next week a public trial, will be carried out by Singapore, of driverless buses. An app can be used to book the buses; partly the ambition is to unveil autonomous vehicles in the state.
Singapore is very well-organized and high-tech. It is a test bed for the self-driving vehicles; it develops home-grown technology and invites foreign companies for trial of their own.
A route of 5.7 kilometer (3.5-mile) will be followed by four driverless mini-buses, on resort island (Sentosa) from 26th August to 15th November. ST Engineering, the Singaporean company behind it, stated that this activity will be held for a public trial.
Shuttles can be booked by the visitors with the help of an app on their phones. They will be picked up and taken to the selected destinations, for instance a golf club, historic fort or the beach.
If anyone does not have a mobile phone, they can book the ride via kiosks along the route. Kiosks will have a free service for four hours, on weekdays. There will be a driver in the bus, if it is necessary to take control of it.
On Tuesday, at a demonstration, two of the driverless vehicles negotiated a roundabout. They had little difficulty and they stopped on a main road, at intersections, to allow passing cars.
Moderate rain does not affect their function, but heavy downpours do, and they are especially common in Singapore which is a Southeast Asian city, with tropical weather.
The president of ST Engineering, who also happens to be the chief executive there, Vincent Chong said that the buses had been equipped with multi-sensor technology and that they could be operated in uncertain urban environments.
The aim of the company is to unveil the shuttles in a couple of years to other regions of Singapore for the transportation of people from their homes to the subway stations and vice versa. The company hopes this will resolve the issue of shortage of drivers.
In 2016, nuTonomy, the US software firm beat its rival, Ube, by the lead of weeks, by becoming the world’s first company that launched driverless taxis in Singapore.