Singapore’s driverless dream

Singapore formally launched the testing of driverless vehicles on public roads on Monday (October 12), pushing ahead the study of technology aimed at reducing its dependence on manpower, and joining some U.S. states and countries like Germany.

The Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) along with the National University of Singapore and the Agency for Science Technology and Research showed off their two self-driving vehicles in the one-north neighbourhood of Singapore, which is home to several research facilities and educational institutes.

As a country with a limited land and workforce, Singapore is hoping to use autonomous vehicles (AV) to encourage residents to use more public transport, and avoid further congestion on its roads.

SMART’s driverless car, a converted Mitsubishi electric vehicle with a top speed of 30 kilometres per hour, is fitted with motors for the steering wheel, the brake and the ascelerator.

For security purposes, a person still needs to sit behind the steering wheel in case anything goes wrong. (Reuters)