Volvo Launches Autonomous Bus Program in Singapore
SINGAPORE – Auto manufacturer Volvo has launched an autonomous bus program in Singapore, according to an online news story from dailymail.co.uk. The program features the first fully automated electric bus in the world.*
The bus has zero emissions and reportedly requires only 20 percent of the energy used by diesel vehicles used for public transit. Singapore hopes becoming the site of this program with Volvo will put it on the map for autonomous technology development.
The bus is a 7900 Volvo Electric featuring one level of seating in its 39 feet that can hold up to 80 people. Nanyang Technical University helped develop the vehicle, and the University’s campus will be the launching site for the bus. After success on campus roads, the bus will move to other public streets in Singapore.
“We really think that autonomous vehicles can really transform public transport,” said Hakan Agnevall, president of Volvo Buses. “It’s about safety, it’s about operational efficiency, and it’s also about creating new opportunities for urban planning.”
The Volvo bus is outfitted with an artificial intelligence system that protects the vehicle from cyberattacks that could harm passengers and other motorists. Researchers at Nanyang Technical University will be in charge of monitoring this system.
Safety is a large concern for both autonomous vehicle developers and members of the public. Public confidence in the technology was shaken last year, when a self-driving vehicle hit and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona. Companies have worked even harder since then to gain public support for autonomy in the transportation sector.
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