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Driverless Shuttle Set to go on Live Trial at NUS by March 2019

Starting March of next year, autonomous shuttle buses will be making rounds at the National University Singapore (NUS) as part of its 1-year test trial, as shared in a report by the Strait Times.

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In announcement made by transport operator ComfortDelGro released last November 12, the company will carry out a year-long trial phase of the EZ10 autonomous shuttle bus in partnership with French start-up EasyMile, which will supply the vehicle; and automotive distributor Inchape, which has financed the project.

Driverless Shuttle Set to go on Live Trial at NUS by March 2019

Image Credit: Easy Mile FB Page 

Autonomous Shuttles to go on a 1-year trial in Singapore starting March 2019

The vehicle distributor,  EasyMile is also running a similar trial phase of its proprietary shuttle along a 1.2-kilometre route in Forus, Norway. Meanwhile, ComfortDelGro is conducting data collection and operations modelling for two autonomous vehicles trials in Singapore – one in Sentosa and the other on Jrong Island – through its subsidiary SBS Transit.

The driverless shuttle bus, which can accommodate up to 15 passengers at a time, will service a 1.6-km route between Heng Mui Keng Terrace and Business Link in NUS during the said period.

According to ComfortDelGro, the trial would be performed in “real mixed traffic conditions” along with other vehicles on the road, but with a safety engineer on board to ensure safety of the trip. Initially, the trial won’t be carrying passengers, as it would only focus on data collection for its mapping and navigation systems.

Eventually, passengers will be accommodated once the trial management team is fully satisfied with the performance of the shuttle in real world traffic conditions and road situations.

Should the trials go according as planned, ComfortDelGro is open to considering adopting the vehicle for commercial service in the country, noting that the trial phase for the new product will further cement the brand’s bid in becoming an AV fleet operator in the near future.