By Zhaki Abdullah, The New Paper, 17 April 2018 at 06:00 am
PHOTO: A driverless shuttle bus serving NTU students.
TNP PHOTO: KHALID BABA
Picture posted by Zhaki Abdullah, The New Paper on 17 April 2018 at 06:00 am
In a few months, rushing to class could mean hopping on a driverless shuttle bus for Nanyang Technological University (NTU) students.
The vehicle, which can travel at speeds of up to 40kmh, will carry 24 riders on a 500m route connecting student halls with the main academic areas.
Ferrying up to 300 passengers a day, it will encounter obstacles such as pedestrians and traffic, all vital input for the machine to learn how to get around in the real world.
PHOTO: The magnetic one
The GRT by SMRT and 2GetThereAsia, has capacity for 24 passengers (eight seated; 16 standing). You’re not seeing things – this silent roadster looks like it’s floating above the ground, but it’s actually not. The GRT uses magnetic pellets on the road for autonomous navigation and, like the Arma, it can travel both directions. It is designed to act like a “horizontal lift”, picking up passengers on demand via the interactive mobility-as-a-service app, Jalan2, which has information on first-and-last-mile transport options in NTU such as bicycle-sharing and e-scooter services
Picture posted by Amin Shah
Yesterday, NTU signed an agreement with Dutch company 2getthere and SMRT Services - the transport operator's operations and maintenance arm - to introduce the buses to NTU's campus.
In April 2016, SMRT formed a joint venture with 2getthere to bring driverless vehicle systems to Singapore and the region, acquiring a 20 per cent stake - worth $6 million - in the Dutch company later that year.
Since November last year, the bus has been tested along a 350m route between two student halls on the NTU campus, safely carrying about 4,000 passengers in total.
PHOTO: Since February, the GRT has been plying a route between Halls 12 and 15. It will undergo further trials around the rest of the campus after its official unveiling this month.
Picture posted by Amin Shah
There are plans ahead for it to eventually traverse the entire campus and beyond - connecting NTU to neighbouring CleanTech Park.
To help it "see" its way around, the bus is equipped with cameras as well as lidar (light detection and ranging) and ultrasound sensors.
Small magnets embedded in the road act as navigation guides.
PHOTO: A demonstration of the fully automated Group Rapid Transit, which will operate a minibus service route connecting halls of residences with the main academic areas at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
Picture posted by Today, Bangkok Post
The vehicle can get through heavy rain and knows to avoid pedestrians, said 2getthere chief technology officer Sjoerd van der Zwaan.
The autonomous vehicle will also be integrated into Jalan-Jalan, an app that integrates various transport modes such as e-scooters and shuttle buses on campus.
The app - developed by start-up mobilityX - is being tested at the NTU campus and CleanTech Park.
PHOTO: The system has a localised accuracy of 1cm, compared to GPS which has an accuracy of up to a metre, according to 2getthere Chief Technology Officer Sjoerd van der Zwaan.
LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and ultrasound radars are installed at the vehicle's bumper to detect obstructions, and cameras give visual feedback to the operations centre.
Picture posted by easybranches.com
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