Singapore’s push towards autonomous mobility will soon include a pair of driverless buses, which will be part of a test trial operating between the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and CleanTech Park, and possibly to the Pioneer MRT station in the future.

The country’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) and NTU’s Energy Research Institute will conduct the trial, under an agreement signed following a request for information called by the LTA in June last year on autonomous mobility concepts.

The 12 metre-long single-deck buses will ferry up to 80 people each, and is powered by electricity. No mention on the expected range, but charging masts on the buses will allow it to charge at depots and at bus stops.

The support its autonomous driving capabilities, the buses are equipped with a myriad of sensors and cameras, along with positioning hardware, allowing them to operate without a driver.

“Current efforts worldwide have been focused on cars. So, this autonomous bus trial is the first of its kind in Singapore that will aim to improve road safety, reduce vehicle congestion, alleviate pollution and address manpower challenges,” said Lam Khin Yong, NTU vice-president of NTU’s research department, in a report by Channel NewsAsia.

Other trials of a full-sized autonomous bus include Mercedes-Benz’s Future Bus, which took a 19 km-long ride around Amsterdam back in June. The LTA hopes to eventually outfit existing buses with the technology, so they may effectively navigate Singapore’s local road traffic and climate conditions.