Singapore to roll out automated transit pods
Wed 20 Apr 2016
Following the recent announcement that Singapore will begin testing autonomous taxis on its roads, public transport operator SMRT has detailed its plans to roll out driverless transit systems by the end of 2016.
Partnering with automated travel company 2getthere, SMRT is looking to introduce Group Rapid Transit (GRT) ‘pods’ onto Singapore’s roads. The vehicles can carry up to 24 passengers each and, according to SMRT, will offer a low-cost, automated transport solution with the capacity to cater for as many as 8,000 passengers per hour.
“The new Singapore-based joint venture, called 2getthere Asia Pte Ltd will market, install, operate and maintain the Automated Vehicle systems for customers in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific. The joint venture aims to showcase 2getthere’s 3rd Generation Group Rapid Transit (GRT) vehicle capabilities in Singapore by the end of the year,” a SMRT statement noted today.
The companies explain that the height of the pods allows for the air-conditioning units to be installed in the roof, leaving space to accommodate passengers comfortably. The flexible interiors feature between eight and ten seats, and allows standing space for up to 12 standees. Wide automated doors on either side of the vehicle also allows for wheelchair access.
The GRT pods are electrically-powered, automatically guided by a magnet-based navigation system, and feature obstacle detection technology to ensure passenger safety. The vehicles can even operate autonomously in ‘demanding weather conditions.’
SMRT Services managing director Colin Lim commented: “There is a growing national push to implement future mobility solutions that can meet our first and last-mile connectivity needs in Singapore… The Automated Vehicles will complement our existing multi-modal transport operations to bring about seamless connectivity for commuters.”