The autonomous bus will undergo testing in the NTU’s campus for a year before moving on to public roads after taking due regulatory approvals.
On Tuesday, Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Sweden’s Volvo Buses unveiled a full-size autonomous electric bus for testing purposes.
For Singapore, this is very strategic, given its high density. The city state has been eager to embrace the development of driverless technology in hopes that its citizens will shift their preference to public transportation and shared vehicles.
Initially, the bus will be tested on NTU’s university campus before moving to public roads after taking due regulatory approvals, said NTU President Subra Suresh.
He went on to add, he hopes the bus could be tested on public roads within a year’s time.
The 12-metre (39 ft) vehicle can carry up to 80 passengers and is the world’s first full-size, autonomous electric bus, said Volvo and NTU in a statement.
“This is the type of vehicle that real operators would use and that’s why it is a milestone,” said Håkan Agnevall, president of Volvo Buses.
According to a recent report by KPMG, Singapore ranked second in a global index that assesses countries’ openness and preparedness for autonomous vehicles.
Singapore aims to deploy autonomous buses on public roads in three different districts from 2022.