The National University of Singapore (NUS) is launching a year-long trial of the EasyMile EZ10 autonomous shuttle to gauge the commercial viability of such a service. The trial is in line with NUS’ ongoing efforts to build a smart, safe and sustainable campus.
The EasyMile EZ10 autonomous bus shuttle, known as NUSmart Shuttle, will initially embark on a 1.5-month long road test at NUS’ Kent Ridge Campus before commencing the trial proper. The service will be operated by ComfortDelGro’s wholly owned subsidiary, ComfortDelGro Bus Pte Limited.
Mapping the route
The road test will see the NUSmart Shuttle travelling a 1.6 km route between Heng Mui Keng Terrace and Business Link within the NUS campus. The key purpose of the road test is to map the route through the collection of data for the vehicle’s navigation systems. To ensure the mapping is done accurately, the shuttle will be travelling at between 5km/h and 16km/h during this period.
Upon completion of the mapping process, the NUSmart Shuttle will run a validation test for three hours daily over a four-week period. During this time, the shuttle will not be taking passengers.
Following the road test, the NUSmart Shuttle is expected to commence the passenger service trial in the third quarter of the year. The NUSmart Shuttle will be running in real mixed traffic conditions alongside regular buses, cars and motorcycles throughout the road test and trial period.
A safety operator will also be on board the autonomous shuttle for safety reasons as well as to provide information to passengers and ensure safe operation of the vehicle.
Last month, Smart Columbus announced that EasyMile has been selected to operate the self-driving shuttle route in Columbus’ Linden neighbourhood.
Two level-four autonomous EasyMile EZ10 vehicles will service the 2.7 mile route, helping to solve first- and last-mile mobility challenges by providing free rides that will connect passengers from the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) Linden Transit Center to community resources at St Stephen’s Community House, Douglas Community Recreation Center and Rosewind Resident Council.
The fully electric vehicles accommodate up to 15 passengers and travel at an electronically limited speed of 15 miles per hour. Operators trained by EasyMile will be on board the vehicles at all times.