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Businesses Transportation

Singapore To Use Driverless Buses 'From 2022' (bbc.com) 42

Singapore plans to introduce driverless buses on its public roads by 2022. From a report: The government says they will be piloted in three new neighbourhoods which will have less-crowded roads designed to accommodate the buses. The buses will be used to help residents travel in their communities, and to nearby train and bus stations. Densely-populated Singapore hopes driverless technology will help the country manage its land constraints and manpower shortages. "The autonomous vehicles will greatly enhance the accessibility and connectivity of our public transport system, particularly for the elderly, families with young children and the less mobile," the Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said. The autonomous buses are expected to complement existing manned bus services, and will initially operate during off-peak hours. Additionally, the government plans to let commuters hail on-demand shuttles using their mobile phones.
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Singapore To Use Driverless Buses 'From 2022'

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  • by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Thursday November 23, 2017 @11:42AM (#55610909)
    Driverless vehicles could follow specific routes and get power from wires -- they could have almost no battery capacity. Minimizing the meet for batteries could be environmentally great. Basically trams without the rails.
    • by iTrawl ( 4142459 )

      One could even suggest the paths be made of metal and do away with the clever AI. Something like the DLR in London.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Driverless vehicles could follow specific routes and get power from wires -- they could have almost no battery capacity. Minimizing the meet for batteries could be environmentally great. Basically trams without the rails.

      There are already trams that run on wheels. Same overhead wires, but a converted bus underneath like this one from Holland [wikimedia.org]. I believe that there are even ones that can cross from road to rail.

      However in Singapore I still see a Chinese taxi driver hanging out the window shouting "what you do, lah" at the bus. Seriously though, this could work in Singapore because they have such little traffic because the number of vehicle registrations they give out are so low. So it's a perfect proof of concept that can

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is stupid. Autonomous vehicles are nowhere close to being ready. Many engineers believe that driverless cars just aren't possible, yet they're being ignored. Cab anyone justify that?

    • Fixed route in a city with no snow would be a nearly perfect test application. Basically a tram without tracks.
      • Hum, déjà vu.

    • While I agree, I hear Singapore is very clean and the type of place where lines get repainted and signs fixed in short order. It may be the only place in the world where self driving can work, especially on fixed routes like buses have.
    • Can anyone justify that?

      Sure; MBA's, marketing drones and politicians - notable programming geniuses, every last one.

    • Not only stupid. But what about crime on unmanned buses? Anything can be hacked. What happens then?
  • Wow! That's amazing. But how did they get driverless buses from 2022?
  • Singapore has the third highest population density in the world. If a few people get run over and killed that's not a bug that's a feature.
  • Years ago, my brother was involved the design of a light rail program here in Toronto (the "Kenney Line" to Scarborough Town Centre) with the idea that they would run without any transit employees on board.

    The idea got nixed when somebody asked what happens if a woman gets assaulted?

    • What happens on the subway if a woman (or man) gets assaulted now? The driver isn't going to stop the train and go all the way back to stop them. Last time I was in Toronto, I don't remember seeing security guards on the cars. Don't they just have emergency buttons [theglobeandmail.com] for this very purpose? The train could just stop at the next station until the problem is resolved. Most likely the other passengers would put a stop to any assault, and if they didn't, I don't see how the driver (who might also be a person of

      • IIRC correctly, a transit employee on the train was sufficient to deter and attack and at least mitigate one if it happens by moving to the car where the problem is happening.

      • Encountered that situation a couple months back in NYC. An off duty detective took out his gun and beat a homeless man with it (with the barrel pointed at me 2' away, yay nypd) for yelling at him. The train was stopped and the conductor came to investigate, as they always do. The situation had ended, and they had both walked away, and it was made very clear to us that if anyone wanted the police called, the train would not be moving. We all shut up and moved on, and it went unreported. One other person got
    • In NYC, they pay the "conductor" (the guy who closes the doors to separate you from your family) more than a rookie cop. Turn on the automatic doors and put a rookie cop on each train. Problem solved.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      The idea got nixed when somebody asked what happens if a woman gets assaulted?

      Emergency buttons and a live 911 camera feed? With the ability to speak over the intercom to let them know the police is watching them right now and officers are on the way to the next stop. If they're smart they might release the fire alarm so the emergency exists must open, but still. Of course it wouldn't help if the one being assaulted is alone and nobody is there to push the button, but how is that different from a woman assaulted anywhere else? It's not like we can have stewards watching all women at

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