Singapore Introduces First Commercial Driverless Bus Services Less Than RM1 Per Ride

Remember when we were younger, we were expecting to see a flying car and that imagination was made into art on every drawing contest. Well, in 2021, we still have not yet seen any flying cars in motion but we do have driverless buses.

This initiative of autonomously driven public transport is coming from our neighbour country, Singapore which is launching their new trial of self-driving bus service. The trial is launched this week until April 30.

To ride, passengers can book through an app which makes the procedure almost like Grab. The trial route is around Singapore’s Science Park which costs SGD0.20. Another route is Haw Par Villa route which only costs SGD0.40 for a round trip and to get to Jurong Island route is SGD2.

The trial is intended to earn data that could eventually see these buses rolled out across Singapore commercially, and are set to give Singapore’s current edge in the automated vehicle industry a further boost.

The observers of the industry have claimed that the technology is at least five to 10 years from being rolled out more broadly, and those developing the technology have said a realistic target would be to use these vehicles as last-mile connections between destinations that are not as well connected, and MRT stations and bus stops, according to the source.

Even though it is self-driving, a driver is still on the wheel to cater to any emergencies or any situations necessary.

The source also reported that the consumers found the ride is quiet, smooth and not as slow as they had expected and even eco-friendly. There are also concerns regarding the bus’ internal systems and whether it is susceptible to being hacked by malicious individuals.

Back to our homeland, the development of self-driving cars in Malaysia got a boost late last year with the introduction of the country’s first autonomous vehicle testing route in Cyberjaya where a seven kilometre-long stretch of road known as the Cyberjaya Malaysia Autonomous Vehicle (MyAV) Testing Route was jointly developed by Futurise and the Ministry of Transport (MOT).

Our neighbour has achieved something big and it is certainly a benchmark for other SEA countries to follow. Really wish the border is opening soon (which is maybe a lot later) and we can try ourselves the busses there.

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