Singapore unveils a full-size autonomous electric bus

Volvo buses and Singapore’s Nanyang technological university have joined forces to introduce a full-size autonomous electric bus spanning 12 metres in length. In total, there’s enough space for 80 passengers to hop on board with 36 of them being seated.

This digital transformation effort is a trial run; the Land Transport Authority is testing driverless buses for fixed routes.

These modern vehicles include modern AI technology, sensors, and navigation features. To make them safer against cybersecurity attacks, the developers have undergone the necessary measures to prevent them such as equipping them with a firewall as just one such example.

From an ecological standpoint, these buses are promised to have zero emissions. Looking at their energy consumption levels, it is said they are designed to consume about 80% less energy than a diesel bus of equivalent proportions.

In terms of passenger safety, you’ll be glad to know that these models have undergone rigorous testing, including the tests performed by NTU’s Centre of Excellence for Testing and Research of Autonomous Vehicles. During the stress testing, the vehicles were tested for how well they can handle traffic signals, pedestrian crossings and harsh environmental conditions like heavy rain.

Finally, it’s worth noting these vehicles run on Volvo’s Autonomous Research Platform and its sensors and navigation system. With it, the buses can interpret the level of light, and capture images in 3D.

Subra Suresh, President of NTU, believes these vehicles will play a pivotal role in shaping public transportation, the goals of which are making it comfortable, reliable, safe and efficient.