Singapore prepares to deploy self-driving pods by the end of the year image

As it is facing some serious congestion and pollution issues, Singapore plans to launch autonomous pods to carry people around to work.

As the automotive industry is fiercely focusing on self-driving cars, this tech is soon going to revolutionize the public transport system as well. Faced with major congestion problems, increasingly more cities throughout the world are planning to rely on autonomous vehicles for the public transportation system that would ease up everybody’s lives. The highly populated island of Singapore hopes that driverless pods will be carrying around people to school and work by the end of this year.

The SMRT Services – nation’s second-largest public transportation company – and 2 Getthere Holding – a Dutch maker of automated vehicle systems – recently announced a joint project to develop and launch, as soon as possible, several electric driverless pods capable of carrying up to 24 passengers each. This is designed to operate as a low-cost automated transit system that can cater for up to 8,000 passengers per hour in any single direction.

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“2getthere’s vehicles are unique in being able to operate autonomously in demanding weather conditions, using artificial landmarks for navigation,” the company said in a statement. “2getthere Asia will pursue both automated and mixed-use transit projects in Singapore and the region.”

The pods will initially be tested and deployed in gated communities before they are released on Singapore’s streets. SMRT already has a similar project undergoing in Abu Dhabi and Rotterdam. There are also other countries with plans for smart public transportation systems: Japan also intends to roll out self-driving pods by 2020, Finland and Switzerland are planning to have autonomous buses by 2017, while Dubai hopes to make 25% of all public shuttles smart and driverless by 2030.

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