|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). The bus is a Yinlong electric minibus equipped with autonomous driving sensors and software.
2 units of the ST Autobus are known to have been produced. Both were previously trialled as part of the Autonomous Bus Trial at Sentosa in 2019, operating a 5.7 km route within Sentosa Island. Another public trial at Science Park 2 was conducted in 2021.
ST Engineering has since discontinued its autonomous bus development efforts in late 2022.
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, having undergone testing since 2018. They currently bear the registration plates RD3177U & RD3178S (formerly RD3153M & RD3154K; re-registered sometime around 2020).
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.
Autonomous trial in Sentosa:
Main Article: Autonomous Bus Trial at Sentosa | Land Transport Guru
In April 2017, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) announced a two-year trial involving Mobile On-Demand Vehicles (MODVs). The identified routes for these autonomous vehicles at that time were Tanjong Beach – Siloso Point, Palawan East – Siloso Point, and Sentosa Golf Club – Imbiah Lookout.
Starting from 5 June 2018, the ST Autobus underwent testing along a 1 km stretch of service road at Tanjong Beach to fine-tune its operational systems and ensure adherence to safety protocols. Subsequently, by the end of 2018, the testing phase was expanded to a 2 km route connecting Palawan and Siloso beaches. During the test phase, these vehicles did not ferry commuters.
The trial was officially launched on 20 August 2019, with the on-demand public trial period spanning from 26 August 2019 to 15 November 2019. As part of the trial, ST Kinetics developed a fleet management system that is compatible with various platforms. This system aimed to analyze passenger demand, facilitate route optimization, and enhance ride-sharing services.
ST Engineering Internal Trials:
The ST Autobus was featured in a video by lifestyle Youtube channel Clicknetwork. Filmed in 2020, the bus was fielded on an autonomous on-demand shuttle service within ST Engineering’s Boon Lay compound with three stops (Founder’s Building, Opp KIS, Mfg Workshop).
Autonomous trial in Science Park:
The ST Autobus participated in a second autonomous trial from 4 January 2021 to 30 April 2021, connecting Singapore Science Park 2 and Haw Par Villa MRT station.
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