Volvo Buses is set to start a trial of a full size autonomous electric bus in collaboration with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore.

Volvo will soon start testing the 12m-long autonomous vehicle known as Volvo 7900 Electric bus on the NTU campus. After this, the testing route will be extended outside the university.

The bus can seat a total of 85 passengers.

Trials follow completion of rigorous testing of the bus at the Centre of Excellence for Testing and Research of Autonomous Vehicles (CETRAN).

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The fully autonomous electric bus consumes 80% less energy than an equivalent sized diesel bus and has been designed to offer quiet operations with zero emissions.

Volvo Buses president Hakan Agnevall said: “Our electric bus featuring autonomous technology represents an important step towards our vision for a cleaner, safer and smarter city.

“Our electric bus featuring autonomous technology represents an important step towards our vision for a cleaner, safer and smarter city.”

“The journey towards full autonomy is undoubtedly complex, and our partnership with the NTU and LTA is critical in realising this vision, as is our commitment to applying a safety first approach.”

Fitted with sensors and navigation control systems, the electric self-driving will be operated by a comprehensive artificial intelligence (AI) system.

The AI system is also protected with cybersecurity measures to avoid unwanted intrusions, while also ensuring maximum safety and reliability of the bus, passengers and other road users.

In addition, the bus is fitted with Volvo autonomous research software, which is connected to important controls and multiple sensors.

NTU researchers used an AI system to improve the research software. As a result, the system communicates with sensors and helps the bus operate autonomously.

The system is connected to an ‘inertial management unit’, which measures the bus’s lateral and angular rate, helping improve the vehicle’s navigation when passing over uneven terrain.