Autonomous Bus Trial @ Science Park 2

The On-demand Autonomous Shuttle @ Science Park 2 is undergoing a four-month trial from 4 January 2021 to 30 April 2021.

During the pilot, the autonomous bus plies a fixed route between Singapore Science Park 2 and Haw Par Villa MRT station, covering 6 bus stops. The service operates from 10 am to 5 pm on Mondays to Fridays (excluding Public Holidays).

Commuters may book rides through the Zipster mobile app. A $0.20 fare is charged.

This trial is held concurrently with the Autonomous Lunchtime Shuttle @ Jurong Island, another autonomous shuttle.


Background

Two units of the ST Autonomous Mini-Bus, or ST Autobus are deployed on the trial (registered RD3177U & RD3178S). These electric minibuses are used for ST’s autonomous vehicle development, and retrofitted with an array of exterior sensors.

The Autonomous Bus Trial was officially launched Monday, 25 January 2021, despite having commenced several weeks earlier.

Main Article: ST Autonomous Mini-Bus (Autobus) | Land Transport Guru

The vehicle operates autonomously only within Science Park 2, and are manually driven outside of Science Park 2, in accordance with the LTA’s geographical restrictions on where these autonomous vehicles can operate. Each bus is staffed by an SMRT safety operator.

The trial is held in partnership with ST Engineering, SMRT, and GPS Lands. Testing of the autonomous buses along the route was observed in December 2020.

A similar on-demand autonomous bus trial was held in Sentosa over three months in 2019, featuring the same two autonomous minibuses. The Sentosa trial also used a similar mobile app (Ride Now Sentosa) where commuters could book point-to-point journeys. The trial ferried over 6,000 members of the public.


Trial Details
Science Park On-Demand Autonomous Bus Trial
4 January 2021 to 30 April 2021
Route Science Park 2 ↺ Haw Par Villa MRT Station
Operating Hours 1000hrs – 1700hrs (Weekdays, except Public Holidays)
Fare Free till 24 Jan 2021 |  $0.20 from 25 Jan 2021 onwards
Route List

  • Science Park Road
    1. The Galen (Bs 16121)
    2. Teletech Park (Bs 16119)
    3. The Alpha (Bs 16109)
  • West Coast Highway (non-stop)
  • Pasir Panjang Road
    4. Opp Haw Par Villa Stn (Bs 16011)
  • Science Park Road
    5. Institute Of Micro-Electronics (Bs 16101)
    6. Sparkle (Bs 16111)

Buses operate autonomously only along Science Park Road. Between Science Park Road and Haw Par Villa MRT (Bus stops 3 to 5), buses are manually driven.

During its operating hours, the shuttle replaces the regular shuttle bus between Science Park 2 and Haw Par Villa, which plies the exact same route. It is typically operated by a Tong Tar coach during peak hours and a minibus during off-peak hours.

Science Park 2 – Haw Par Villa MRT Station Shuttle
Mondays to Fridays (excluding Public Holidays)  |  Fare: $0.20 per trip
Time Period Frequency Remarks
0740hrs – 1000hrs 10 minutes Private bus
1000hrs – 1700hrs 30 minutes Replaced by On-demand Autonomous Shuttle
1700hrs – 1900hrs 10 minutes Private bus
1900hrs – 2030hrs 30 minutes Private bus

All bus stops participating in the trial have promotional posters.


Mobile Application

Commuters may download the Zipster app via the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

An earlier trial in Sentosa used the Ride Now Sentosa app, developed by ST Engineering Land Systems. The concurrent Jurong Island autonomous trial uses the SWATRide app.


Safety Measures

Every autonomous vehicle on the route is manned by a safety driver who is trained to take over immediate control of the vehicle should the need arise. The safety driver is further supported by a vehicle fault system that will immediately alert the safety driver of any faults, and cede control of the AV to the safety driver.

Safety drivers for the trial are staffed by SMRT personnel.

In addition, the autonomous vehicles use electronic signs to signal that they are operating autonomously, for easy recognition by road users and pedestrians.


Gallery:

See Also:
References

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