First public on-demand autonomous vehicle trial to begin on Monday at Sentosa

The on-demand autonomous vehicle which will be open to public for a trial run from 26 August to 15 November in Sentosa. (PHOTO: Ministry of Transport)

SINGAPORE — From next Monday (26 August), visitors to Sentosa will be able to hail an autonomous shuttle service to be ferried to locations such as Siloso Point, Beach Station, Palawan Beach, Tanjong Beach and Sentosa Golf Club.

They can hail the service via the Ride Now Sentosa mobile app, or at kiosks along a 5.7-kilometre route on the resort island.

The public trial will run until 15 November, and comprises four autonomous vehicles – two minibuses and two smaller shuttles – operating four hours on weekdays (excluding public holidays), from 10am to 12 noon and from 2pm to 4pm.

This will be Singapore’s first on-demand autonomous shuttle trial that is open to the public since on-road testing began in June 2018, according to a joint media release by Ministry of Transport (MOT), Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) and ST Engineering on Tuesday (20 August).

The smaller on-demand autonomous vehicle which will be open to public for a trial run from 26 August to 15 November in Sentosa. (PHOTO: Ministry of Transport)

“This trial will provide important insights into commuter experience and the interaction of autonomous vehicles with other road users, as we seek to enhance urban mobility by deploying autonomous-vehicle technology safely in our towns,” said Loh Ngai Seng, Permanent Secretary for Transport and chairman of the Committee on Autonomous Road Transport for Singapore.

The autonomous vehicles are developed by the Land Systems arm of ST Engineering in partnership with MOT and SDC.

During the trial, there will be a safety driver on board every autonomous vehicle trained to take over immediate control of the vehicle should the need arise.

The safety driver is supported by a vehicle fault system that will immediately alert the driver of any faults, and cede control of the vehicle to the safety driver.

In addition, the autonomous vehicles will display electronic signages indicating that they are operating autonomously, for easy recognition by road users and pedestrians.

Map of the 5.7km route for the public on-demand autonomous vehicle trial in Sentosa. (INFO: Ministry of Transport)

The vehicles come equipped with various technologies – such as radar, LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), GPS (Global Positioning System), odometry and computer vision – to help them sense their environment and identify appropriate navigation paths, obstacles and signages.

This enables them to navigate mixed traffic environments as well as handle a range of complex environments, such as roundabouts.

Each trial vehicle has undergone a safety assessment jointly administered by the Land Transport Authority, the Traffic Police and the Centre of Excellence for Testing & Research of AVs-NTU to demonstrate its ability to handle basic manoeuvres and stop safely upon detecting an obstacle.

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