Driverless shuttle bus operates in Ngee Ann Polytechnic; serves students, staff
Engineering students from the polytechnic were also involved in the design process.
A driverless shuttle bus service known as the MooBus has been established for students and staff of Ngee Ann Polytechnic by autonomous vehicle start-up MooVita.
Based on the shuttle schedule published by the polytechnic, the MooBus travels to 10 stops around the school campus in the mornings and during lunchtime on weekdays, but does not operate on public holidays.
The schedule also reveals that the MooBus will travel from King Albert Park MRT Station to the Ngee Ann Polytechnic campus thrice in the morning and make six loops around the campus during lunchtime.
These rounds are made every 45 minutes from 7.30am to 9.35am and every half an hour from 11.30am to 2.20pm.
Founded and headquartered locally, MooVita has been in operation since 2016. The company develops smart mobility solutions for urban environments such as driverless software for first and last mile transportation.
According to an article by Lianhe Zaobao, Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s engineering students also played a part in the collaboration with MooVita. They helped develop an information display panel that improves user experience during the bus ride by showing MooBus passenger count and bus stop information.
The bus will also be manned by two MooVita safety operators on Clementi Road and Bukit Timah Road due to the Land Transport Authority’s geographical restrictions, CNA reported.
It also makes use of 16 sensors to achieve a 360-degree view of its surroundings. For instance, radars can sense objects at 80 metres and beyond, while cameras and light sensors installed on the vehicle help to classify objects and distances when the MooBus approaches them, explained MooVita’s chief operating officer Dilip Limbu.
Before the MooBus shuttle service was officially launched, MooVita drove the vehicle around with such sensors installed to collect data and create high-definition maps for its navigation routes.
Aside from providing information on surrounding objects like traffic lanes, pedestrian crossings and kerb locations, the maps would also act as a verification system for what the sensors are “seeing” on the shuttle journey, explained Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Engineering deputy director Neo Boon Kee.
Ngee Ann Polytechnic plans to develop an application for checking MooBus arrival times and number of seats available, which users can download in the next six to nine months.