Singapore is launching its first on-demand autonomous shuttle service on the island of Sentosa, with four vehicles operating along a pre-designated 5.7km (3.5 mile) route.
The public trial will run from August 26 to November 15, 2019, with customers being collected and dropped at locations such as Siloso Point, Beach Station, Palawan Beach, Tanjong Beach and Sentosa Golf Club.
To use the free service, customers simply hail an autonomous shuttle via the Ride Now Sentosa mobile app, or by using dedicated kiosks near each stop.
Developed by the Land Systems arm of ST Engineering in partnership with the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC), the vehicles include two minibuses and two smaller shuttles, each with a safety driver on board to take over in an emergency.
In addition, all AVs will display electronic signage to indicate when they are operating autonomously. The trial service is supported by ST Engineering’s Autonomous Vehicle Management System, which analyses passenger demand and optimizes route management for ridesharing. Each AV comes equipped with radar, lidar, GPS, odometry and computer vision, to help sense their environment and identify appropriate navigation paths, obstacles and signages.
Loh Ngai Seng, permanent secretary for transport and chairman of the committee on autonomous road transport for Singapore, said, “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.”
Dr Lee Shiang Long, president, land systems of ST Engineering, said, “The Sentosa shuttle trial marks a significant step toward the operation of AVs in Singapore. Leveraging the Singapore AV R&D ecosystem, we have grown considerably in terms of building up our autonomous capabilities, from adapting the vehicles to navigate roundabouts and operate in mixed-traffic and rain conditions, to developing software for a mobile app to allow passengers to hail an on-demand shuttle.”