Singaporean bus drivers’ jobs could soon be at risk, report suggests

Plans in Singapore to have autonomous/driverless buses on the road are underway, with the Land Transport Authority and Economic Development Board receiving responses from interest parties on collaboration plans. The call for collaboration (CFC) for autonomous buses and shuttles—issued earlier this year—has now received positive responses from several entities.

While these interested parties have not been revealed, they reportedly include ST Engineering, ComfortDelGro, SMRT, EasyMile, Nanyang Technological University and NuTonomy—all of which have been involved with autonomous vehicle trials in Singapore.

Prior to this, public trials for autonomous buses began with four minibuses on Sentosa Island at the tail end of August, with ST Engineering’s driverless vehicles able to be booked via a smartphone app. At the time, the company said that the company was aiming to roll the shuttles out to the rest of Singapore in a few years’ time.

NuTonomy, meanwhile, launched driverless vehicle trials in Singapore in 2016; ComfortDelGro and EasyMile are also running trials at the campus of the National University of Singapore.

It seems that we won’t be seeing a full public rollout just yet, however. ST Engineering will be forming a consortium in response to the collaboration call (CFC) by the Singaporean authorities, but only expects autonomous buses to deploy in Punggol, Tengah, and the Jurong Innovation District from 2022.

Further details could be made available at the 26th Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress that will be held in Singapore from the 21st till the 25th of October. Meanwhile, the call for collaboration (CFC) has closed, and is now at the “clarification stage”.

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