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Driverless shuttle to be trialled at NUS

This article is more than 12 months old

From March next year, a self-driving shuttle bus will be making its way around the campus of the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Transport operator ComfortDelGro said yesterday that it will carry out a year-long trial of the EZ10 autonomous shuttle, together with French start-up EasyMile, which will provide the vehicle, and automotive distributor Inchcape, which is funding the project.

EasyMile is running a similar trial of its shuttle on a 1.2km route in Forus, Norway, while ComfortDelGro is taking part in data collection and operations modelling for two autonomous vehicle (AV) trials here - on Sentosa and Jurong Island - through subsidiary SBS Transit.

The shuttle, which can carry 15 passengers, will ply a 1.6km route between Heng Mui Keng Terrace and Business Link in NUS.

The trial would be conducted in "real mixed traffic conditions" with other vehicles, ComfortDelGro said, with a safety engineer on board the shuttle to ensure safety.

It will not ferry passengers initially but focus on collecting data for its mapping and navigation systems.

We believe the experiences gained from these trials will help us gain greater insight into how to become an AV (autonomous vehicle) fleet operator in the years to come.ComfortDelGro group chief executive Yang Ban Seng

It will take passengers only "once the trial management team is satisfied that the shuttle is ready for commuter trials", said ComfortDelGro, adding it is considering a commercial service if the trial is successful.

"We believe the experiences gained from these trials will help us gain greater insight into how to become an AV fleet operator in the years to come," said ComfortDelGro group chief executive Yang Ban Seng.

Inchcape Singapore's managing director Jasmmine Wong said the trial could be a "pivotal project" in its efforts to innovate.

Autonomous vehicles are also being tested in the one-north business district, the Nanyang Technological University campus and Sentosa.

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Transport