-  Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons. 

The fully autonomous NUSmart Shuttle has commenced passenger service at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Kent Ridge campus after a month and a half of road testing. This trial is part of a year-long study aimed at gauging the commercial viability of providing safe autonomous shuttle buses.

The NUSmart Shuttle, an EasyMile EZ10 autonomous shuttle, runs entirely on electricity and carries up to 12 people. It will operate from Mondays to Fridays at 20-minute intervals. It will be free to use by all commuters.

The NUSmart Shuttle can accommodate a wheelchair and has an in-built access ramp for mobility challenged passengers. During the year-long trial, a safety operator will be on board to address enquires from commuters and to ensure safe operation of the vehicle.

The vehicle will operate on a predefined route and relies on an internal array of software and hardware technologies for its navigation. The EasyMile EZ10 autonomous shuttle is the most widely deployed autonomous shuttle in the world with over 230 deployments in more than 26 countries.

The trial, which is also in line with NUS’ ongoing efforts to build a smart, safe and sustainable campus, is the first autonomous shuttle bus to be operated by a land transport operator in real mixed traffic conditions, alongside regular buses, cars and motorcycles. Funded and imported by Inchcape Singapore, which also provides technical expertise on vehicle type approval, the NUSmart Shuttle will be operated by ComfortDelGro’s wholly-owned subsidiary, ComfortDelGro Bus Pte Ltd.