|Manufacturer||Zhuhai Yinlong Energy Co., Ltd.|
|Autonomous systems||ST Engineering Land Systems|
|Years in operation||2019–|
|Operators||Sentosa Development Corporation (Trial Basis)|
|Accessibility||Low Floor & Wheelchair-accessible|
|Emission Standard||NA (Zero tailpipe emissions)|
The Singapore Technologies (ST) Autonomous Mini-bus, or the ST Autobus, is an autonomous, low-floor, battery-electric single-deck city bus built by ST Engineering Land Systems (formerly known as ST Kinetics).
2 units of the ST Autobus were previously trialled as part of the Autonomous Bus Trial at Sentosa in 2019, operating a 5.7 km route within Sentosa Island, alongside another 2 units of Navya Autonom Shuttle.
On 10 April 2017, ST Kinetics (now ST Engineering Land Systems) announced that it will develop four Mobility-on-Demand-Vehicles (MODVs) with Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) and the Ministry of Transport (MOT). These vehicles are the ST Autobus and Navya Autonom Shuttle.
The ST Autobus is believed to be based off an existing Yinlong CAT6680CRBEVT2 minibus produced by Zhuhai Yinlong Energy Co., Ltd. It was also on static display during the Singapore Airshow 2018 and at the Ulu Pandan Bus Carnival.
The buses are registered as Research and Development vehicles, bearing the registration plates RD3153M and RD3154K. The vehicles have been undergoing testing since 2018.
The Mini-Bus is fitted with an array of sensors which enables it to navigate on its own in urbanised areas, with or without the aid of GPS. It is also able to sense and recognise its surroundings and obstacles such as vehicles and pedestrians in a safe and reliable way, without compromising passengers’ safety.
Key to ST’s autonomous technology is its Robotics Management System, which provides a remote monitoring, command and control framework for maintaining a fleet of heterogeneous autonomous vehicles (AVs) for directed, semi-autonomous or fully-autonomous operations for a wide variety of applications.
Plug-in Charging System
See Also: Autonomous Buses in Singapore and Electric Buses in Singapore
|Basic Technical Specifications|
|Size||6.8m (Length) x 2.3m (Width) x 3m (Height)|
|Weight||Curb Weight: 6,600kg | Gross Vehicle Weight: 9,900kg|
|Motor / Battery||Electric Motor paired with Lithium Titanate Oxide batteries, 46 kWh|
|Bodywork||Not Applicable (Integral bodywork)|
Standard: 10 Seated, 12 Standing, 1 Wheelchair
|Door||1 Door; 1 emergency door|
|Maximum Operating Speed||Up to 40 km/h|
|Operating Range||30 – 50 km, depending on operating scenarios|
Autonomous buses such as the ST Autobus are able to serve as on-demand shuttle buses for low-ridership routes that are dynamic and responsive to riders’ real-time demand, or regular routes during off-peak hours.
For Mobility-on-Demand applications, the Mini-Bus can be summoned through a Ride-on-Demand app, which uses a back-end Robotics Management System to calculate the best route. Once a request is confirmed, the commuter can make his way to the predetermined stop, and wait for the ride. Complementing this with other transit services, commuters can cut down on transfers.
The vehicle seats roughly 10 passengers with a small amount of standing room. A wheelchair bay is located opposite the exit door.
The autonomous bus trial:
Main Article: Autonomous Bus Trial in Sentosa
On 5 June 2018, in a joint press release with MOT, SDC, and STE, a three-month operational trial was announced for 2019, with commuters being able to hail the autonomous buses via their smartphones or at designated kiosks set up along the 5 km route on Sentosa Island. The 5 km route is believed to the be Sentosa Beach Tram route, plying from Beach Station to Siloso Point, Palawan Beach, and Tanjong Beach.
The trial was mentioned back in April 2017, as part of a partnership between Ministry of Transport and Sentosa Development Corporation for a two-year trial involving MODVs. Routes identified back then for the autonomous vehicles were between Tanjong Beach – Siloso Point, Palawan East – Siloso Point & Sentosa Golf Club – Imbiah Lookout.
From 5 June 2018, the autonomous shuttles were tested along a 1 km stretch of service road at Tanjong Beach to iron out their operational systems and safety protocols. The testing would be progressively extended to a 2km route linking Palawan and Siloso beaches by the end of 2018. During the testing phase, the autonomous vehicles will not ferry commuters.
As part of the trial, ST Kinetics developed a platform-agnostic fleet management system which will analyse passenger demand planning and optimise route management in ride-sharing services.
The trial was launched on 20 August 2019, with the public trial period from 26 August 2019 to 15 November 2019.
Static Display & Public Showcases
Smart Nation & U
One unit of the ST Autobus (RD3154K) was displayed alongside the LTA Smart Bus as part of the Smart Nation & U exhibition held at Downtown East on 30 Nov 2019 & 1 Dec 2019.
Punggol Digital District
During the Punggol Digital District exhibition held at Punggol Town Square on 18 & 19 January 2020, one unit of the ST Autobus (RD3153M) operated on demonstration rides for the public on a closed circuit underneath the Punggol LRT tracks.
External Links & References:
- Driverless buses to be rolled out on Singapore’s roads by 2020 – ChannelNewsAsia
- Driverless buses may hit S’pore roads from 2020 – Today Online
- Sentosa testing autonomous shuttle; public trial to begin in 2019 – ChannelNewsAsia