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Explained: What are Autonomous Vehicles which Singapore is testing

In the “Autonomous Readiness Index” this year, Singapore has ranked second among the 25 countries that were assessed.

autonomous vehicles, autonomous readiness index, autonomous vehicles singapore, autonomous vehicles india, autonomous vehicles in india, autonomous vehicles meaning, Express Explained, Indian Express These buses are being operated by Singapore Technologies Engineering.

The first autonomous public bus service in Singapore will be launched in three districts of Tengah, Punggol and the Jurong Innovation District where driver-less buses and shuttles will be used for off-peak and on-demand commuting by 2022. These bus services were first tested on August 26, with the process to go on till November 15.

These buses are being operated by Singapore Technologies Engineering and are being developed by their Land Systems arm in partnership with the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC).

In the “Autonomous Readiness Index” this year, Singapore has ranked second among the 25 countries that were assessed.

About the trial

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This will be the island nation’s first on-demand autonomous shuttle vehicle trial since autonomous testing of vehicles began in June 2018. Launched in Sentosa, people visiting the area will be able to hail an autonomous shuttle using the “Ride Now Sentosa” mobile application or at kiosks present along a 5.7 km route to access destinations like Siloso Point, Beach Station, Palawan Beach and Sentosa Golf Club free of charge.

For the purposes of the trial, four AVs consisting of two minibuses and two small shuttles will be deployed for four hours on weekdays, as per a joint statement made by the MOT, SDC and ST Engineering.

As a precautionary measure, on every AV, a “safety driver” will be present who can take charge of the vehicle if the need arises. The vehicle fault system will alert the safety driver if it detects any faults in the system. Furthermore, road users and pedestrians will be intimated with electric signage telling them that the vehicles are driverless.

What are autonomous vehicles?

Autonomous vehicles are driver less vehicles and the ones being designed by ST Engineering are 100 percent electric. These buses will be equipped with a multi-sensor technology that will optimise navigation and safety features. The company claims that the autonomous buses can manoeuvre in areas devoid of GPS services, through tunnels and in conditions where downpour is expected. There are three types of autonomous buses that are mentioned on ST Engineering’s website – 10, 36 and 11 seater buses.

What are the key features?

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The AVs are equipped with collision & obstacle avoidance and overtaking features, remote control, radar, LiDAR (Light detection and ranging), odometry, computer vision and 360-degree sensors. They also have embedded cybersecurity features that protect the vehicles from intrusion and deter hacking. The AVs’ charge ranges from 50 km to 150 km per charge depending on the operating scenario.

What does the Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index tell us?

The “Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index”, prepared by KPMG, has ranked 25 countries based on their preparedness for autonomous vehicles. In this report, the Netherlands stood at the first position for 2018 and 2019. Singapore has been consistently ranked second for two years with a score of 24.32 in 2019. India is ranked 24 in this list for the present year, while it was ranked 20 in 2018, out of the 20 countries assessed.

What parameters make a country autonomous vehicle ready?

The report assesses countries based on 25 variables. These four pillars are – policy and legislation, consumer acceptance, infrastructure and technology, and innovation. The 25 variables have been distributed among these pillars and have scores based on publicly available information, existing research, press releases and other such material.

First published on: 31-08-2019 at 01:15:22 pm
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