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Singapore kicks off the first self-driving bus trial in Jurong

Kareyst Lin | Oct. 19, 2016
LTA and NTU are also working to develop a real-time monitoring system for the rail network.

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Singapore kicked off its first self-driving bus trial today ( 19 October 2016), after the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) inked an agreement to develop and test autonomous bus technologies.

The design and development of the technologies will start immediately, but it will take some time before the buses hit the streets, according to a report by local media Today.

The Energy Research Institute at NTU will work with LTA to develop and test autonomous bus technologies. They will run a trial involving two 12-metre electric hybrid buses.

Under this trial, existing buses will be fitted with intelligent sensors and charging technology, as well as an autonomous system with the means to "effectively navigate Singapore's local road traffic and climate conditions."

Recharging can be done at bus depots or bus stops.

Development of real-time condition monitoring system for the rail network

Besides the autonomous bus technologies, LTA also announced that it will partner NTU on a research study to develop a real-time condition monitoring system for the rail network.

The prototype is expected to pick up budding problem with the traction power to "enhance preventive maintenance."

During the trial, a device will be installed at a substation supplying power to four or five stations. An electric current will be pinged through the electrical system tto establish its profile. 

Once the profile has been captured by the device, any abnormalities will trigger an alarm, alerting engineers of a possible defect. 

"This will be done using a patented technology with fault diagnostic capability that can be used around the clock without disrupting normal train operations," said Chew Men Leong, Chief Executive of LTA.


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