Whilst driverless, fully automated transport is today’s aspiration, understanding and resolving the role this mode has in the future of transportation is still a work in progress.
We are always curious. We are always invested in tomorrow’s transport. Last year, ComfortDelGro commenced a one-year passenger service trial of a fully autonomous shuttle bus service on the National University of Singapore’s Kent Ridge campus called the NUSmart Shuttle. The trial aimed to gauge the commercial viability of providing safe autonomous shuttle bus services.
Operating on weekdays, the NUSmart autonomous shuttle runs entirely on electricity and carries up to 12 people. It relies on its own internal software and hardware for navigation on the roads, without assistance from any external infrastructure, and harnesses the latest in robotics and artificial intelligence.
The trial is a first in terms of operating an autonomous shuttle bus in real mixed traffic conditions alongside regular buses, cars and motorcycles.
The NUSmart autonomous shuttle was showcased at the Intelligent Transport System World Congress in 2019 held in Singapore with the aim of sharing latest ITS product and promoting autonomous vehicle to participants worldwide. The vehicle was well received and ferried more than 300 passengers during the Congress.
This trial provides us with the opportunity to observe how passengers respond to an autonomous vehicle. These insights will help inform a future where autonomous and artificial intelligence becomes an integral part of the daily commute.