LTA to study use of driverless vehicles as viable mode of transport
Published on Jun 3, 2014 9:37 PM
SINGAPORE - Driverless buses, taxis and cars can take you from home to your workplace in the near future. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is studying using autonomous vehicles as a viable mode of transport that could save time, improve efficiency and rely on just 20 per cent of the cars currently on the roads.
The government agency is working with the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) to test out a fleet of these driverless buggies in the Jurong Lake District by the end of this year, as part of an ongoing trial by SMART.
"If it comes through, it will provide Singapore another form of transport from what we already have now, said Mr Chua Chong Kheng, LTA's deputy chief executive at the sidelines of the World Cities Summit held at the Marina Bay Sands on Tuesday.
Benefits to such driverless vehicles are numerous, said Mr Chua. It would allow the elderly and the less mobile more flexibility to move around; provide a good first and last-mile connection; and in the case of driverless buses, remove the heavy reliance on manpower.
But it also has to consider other issues, such as the technology's safety and reliability; licensing; and insurance.
"Singapore is very interested to partner whoever is interested to test their systems in Singapore," said Mr Chua. "On our part, we will facilitate the trials and make sure they are conducted in safe manner."