Jennifer van der Kleut
Driverless buses to launch in Singapore within three years
On Monday, April 10, Singapore’s Land Transit Authority (LTA) signed an agreement with the company ST Kinetics to build and test autonomous buses. ST Kinetics is expected to provide two 40-person shuttle buses to be tested in public, likely in the areas of the University of Singapore campus and Jejong Island. If testing goes well, additional vehicles will be tested in more locations, and then LTA said they hope to launch the buses to the general public by 2020. ST Kinetics said the buses navigate via GPS signal and have sensors and radar that can detect pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles up to 200 meters ahead. The company also said the buses can currently operate in rain of up to 10mm, and is working on increasing that to operate in heavier rain. Read more and see video from ChannelNews Asia.
Boston Consulting: One-quarter of all miles traveled will be autonomous by 2030; automakers not moving fast enough
A new study released by the Boston Consulting Group this week said they expect by 2030 that one-quarter of all miles traveled will be in autonomous vehicles, with a significant percentage in shared vehicles. The shift is expected to start in the early 2020s, they said. Particularly in cities with more than 1 million people, BCG analysts think it will soon be more economically advantageous for people to ditch their personally owned vehicles and opt for robot taxis and autonomous ride sharing. However, BCG also criticized automakers for not moving fast enough in developing and regulating autonomous vehicles. BCG warns that automakers that do not put significant effort into this now will see their biggest assets – their sellable vehicles — turn into liabilities by 2030, when 5 million personal cars will be replaced by an estimated 4.7 million autonomous vehicles, they expect. Read more from Bloomberg.
Is Australia the most eager nation for driverless cars?
According to a new survey by Roy Morgan Research, Australians are warming significantly to the idea of driverless cars. Forty-six percent of citizens in a recent survey said they would hop into a driverless car today. Specifically, 51 percent of men and 41 percent of women–who appeared the more cautious gender–said they look forward to driverless vehicles. A whopping 61 percent of millennials compared to 26 percent of baby-boomers said they look forward to the technology. Roy Morgan Research said they expect the main point of disruption in the auto industry to take place in 2025. Australia has been blazing down the driverless trail for a few years now, hosting trials of self-driving cars on public roads, implementing driverless technology into its public transit systems, and conducting research at the professional and university levels. Read more on Which-50.com.
Photo: ST Kinetics test vehicle in Singapore, courtesy of ChannelNews Asia.