Recognising the importance of building its Autonomous Vehicle (AV) capabilities, ComfortDelGro and its partners - EasyMile, Inchcape Singapore and the National University of Singapore (NUS) - launched the NUSmart shuttle on 29 July 2019. In March 2022, ComfortDelGro set up a S$30 million Autonomous Vehicle Centre of Excellence (AV CoE) aimed at building up its capabilities in the operation and maintenance of AVs. Here is a quick snapshot of the Group’s AV journey thus far.
The Group announced that it was embarking on a trial of an autonomous shuttle bus service in real traffic conditions – the first of its kind in Singapore by a land transport operator – in the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Kent Ridge campus.
24 January 2019
The EasyMile EZ10 autonomous shuttle, funded and imported by Inchcape Singapore, was delivered to ComfortDelGro.
7 February 2019
Safety operators from ComfortDelGro Bus who will be operating the vehicle were trained.
2 April 2019
The autonomous shuttle was approved by the Authorities and successfully registered.
8 April 2019
It underwent inspection and testing at VICOM.
6 May 2019
The autonomous shuttle passed the Centre of Excellence for Testing & Research of Autonomous Vehicles (CETRAN) Milestone 1 test on the first attempt, making it ready for actual road deployment.
25 May 2019
The autonomous shuttle underwent a 1.5-month road test to “map” and test the route through the collection of data for the vehicle’s navigation systems. It was officially named NUSmart Shuttle.
29 July 2019
The passenger trial was officially launched by ComfortDelGro and its partners, Easy Mile, Inchcape Singapore and National University of Singapore at innovation 4.0.
30 July 2019
The autonomous shuttle started passenger service at the NUS Kent Ridge campus. It operates between 10.20am and 11.20am as well as 2.20pm and 3.20pm at 20-minute intervals from Mondays to Fridays. It makes round trips along the 1.6km route between Heng Mui Keng Terrace and Business Link starting from innovation 4.0 (i4.0), and calling at stops opposite Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library, BIZ 2 and Business Link, before ending at i4.0. A Safety Operator is on board at all times. It does not operate when it rains.
22-25 October 2019
The autonomous shuttle became the belle of the ball when it was showcased at the 26thIntelligent Transport Systems World Congress. During the five-day event, the autonomous shuttle demonstrated not only its driverless capabilities, but also its ability to automatically move to the boarding point upon request via an app and to circumvent obstacles while travelling along its route. It proved to be so popular that all 50 available slots during demonstration were snapped up by delegates and the public, and it ferried over 300 passengers.
30 March 2022
The Group established a S$30 million Autonomous Vehicle Centre of Excellence aimed at building up its capabilities in the operation and maintenance of such vehicles. The AV CoE, which was set up through ComfortDelGro’s S$100 million venture capital fund, will focus on the research and development of AV-related capabilities over the next five years. It will enable the Group to develop a technology platform to support the delivery of mobility services using AVs, with a view of deploying them commercially.
ComfortDelGro is one of the largest land transport companies in the world with a global workforce, a global shareholder base and a global outlook.
The Group was formed on 29 March 2003 through the merger of two land transport companies - Comfort Group and DelGro Corporation. Both had started out in the 1970s and had, by the time of the merger, grown to become successful listed land transport companies. Following the merger, ComfortDelGro has expanded significantly and now operates in seven countries and has a global fleet of about 35,000 vehicles.