Autonomous public bus to be launched by 2020

(From left) Dr Lee Shiang Long (President, ST Kinetics), Assoc Prof Ivan Lee (Vice-President, Industry and Community, SIT), Professor Wang Dan Wei (Co-Director, ST Engineering-NTU Corporate Lab), Prof Chua Kee Chaing (Dean, Faculty of Engineering, NU
(From left) Dr Lee Shiang Long (President, ST Kinetics), Assoc Prof Ivan Lee (Vice-President, Industry and Community, SIT), Professor Wang Dan Wei (Co-Director, ST Engineering-NTU Corporate Lab), Prof Chua Kee Chaing (Dean, Faculty of Engineering, NUS), Mr Vincent Chong (CEO, ST Engineering), Mr Lim Chuan Poh (Chairman, A*Star), Prof Lui Pao Chuen (Adviser, National Research Foundation), Ravinder Singh (President, ST Electronics), Yuval Elovici (Lab Director, SUTD) at the launch of the Singapore Autonomous Vehicles (AV) Consortium, on April 10, 2017. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

SINGAPORE - A consortium led by ST Kinetics will launch an autonomous public bus by October 2020.

The team, which includes the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, the National University of Singapore, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Institute of Technology, will also launch a driverless on-demand minibus on Sentosa in 2018.

Both the bus and minibus will be unveiled early next year, ST Engineering, parent group of ST Kinetics, announced on Monday morning.

The Land Transport Authority in a statement on Monday said that ST Kinetics will develop and integrate AV technologies onto two 40-seater electric buses that can be deployed to serve fixed and scheduled services for intra- and inter-town travel.

The buses will use a Global Positioning System and sensors to scan and determine their location and immediate surroundings.

They will also be equipped with radars and sonars that are able to detect other vehicles and pedestrians up to 200m ahead.

ST Kinetics is also working to improve the autonomous buses' ability to navigate in heavier rain conditions - from the current 10mm of rain per hour to 30mm of rain per hour.

The initial testing of the buses will be done during off-peak periods at an industrial area where the road infrastructure is less complex.

The LTA added that the development and testing of these buses will cover as many scenarios as possible faced by feeder bus services to prepare for eventual full-scale operations.