On the heels of driverless cars, self-driving trucks and autonomous search-and-rescue boats comes technology that may change the way you commute to work. The Singaporean government has announced that they will be testing driverless buses starting in late 2016.
Singapore’s current infrastructure is struggling to keep up with the city-state’s population growth, so the Land Transport Authority (LTA) hopes that testing driverless mass transport will provide some insight into future city development. The ultimate goal is to have a whole fleet of shared autonomous vehicles (AVs) that will improve Singapore’s mobility and connectivity and reduce the need for private cars.
So how exactly do you test a bunch of driverless buses anyway? Singapore’s first test site will be a six-kilometer (3.7-mile) route in the one-north business park, home to many science and technology companies. Safety is, of course, a huge concern, so CCTV surveillance cameras are already being installed. Researchers will also need to install short-range communication beacons in order to communicate traffic conditions and navigation concerns to the buses. Oh yeah, and they’re gonna need signage — lots of it — to make sure no one freaks out when they realize they’re living in a Minority Report-esque world.
With autonomous buses on fixed routes and scheduled timings, it will be very interesting to see if removing the element of human error improves traffic congestion. Especially if it means cutting down on our commute time.
How would you feel about boarding a driverless bus? We want to hear what you think of this technology’s potential in the comments!
(h/t Mashable; photo via Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)