The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has implemented various initiatives in recent years to build a smarter and greener transport system.
Enabling Smarter Urban Mobility
2. Self-driving vehicle (SDV) technology has the potential to significantly improve our land transport system. Since 2015, LTA has been facilitating trials at one-north for autonomous mobility-on-demand shared services; there are four organisations trialling their SDVs there currently. Initiatives are also underway to develop self-driving buses.
3. We recently signed agreements with two companies to develop solutions for autonomous truck platooning to transport containers from one port terminal in Singapore to another. We have also issued a Request for Information for the development of self-driving multi-purpose utility vehicles such as for road sweeping. Both efforts have the potential to reduce manpower needs and free up precious road space during peak hours by deploying such autonomous systems, for example, at night.
Smarter Bus Systems
4. Commuters and operators are benefitting from our bus systems upgrades. The New On-Board Bus Equipment and data transmitters installed in 2014 provide commuters with real-time data on bus arrival times and the loading situation.
5. In addition, the Common Fleet Management System (CFMS) enables operators to monitor the location and performance of their bus fleets, and actively work with their bus captains to adjust bus operations in real-time. It has been rolled out in phases since April 2016, and the network-wide installation will be completed by March 2017.
6. The CFMS provides live updates on bus locations, traffic accidents, arrival times, etc, makes our bus operations more efficient, and enables the bus operators to improve bus arrival regularity under the Bus Service Reliability Framework.
A FASTER Way to Respond to Public Transport Incidents
7. To enhance LTA and the public transport operators’ capabilities to respond to public transport incidents and emergencies, LTA is developing a Fusion AnalyticS for public Transport Emergency Response (FASTER) system which will combine data from various sources, including fare-card, video and telecommunications systems, to perform analytics. It will enable LTA and the operators to visualise commuting patterns to improve transport planning, and it also triggers early alerts of crowd surges and transport incidents.
8. The FASTER system will also be able to predict the impact of the incident in terms of the extent of the travel delay, the number of commuters affected, and recommend specific mitigating measures such as the injection of additional trains and buses.
More Comprehensive Traffic Data, Smoother Traffic Flow
9. To be rolled out progressively from 2020, the next-generation Electronic Road Pricing System, which is based on Global Navigation Satellite System technology, will enable the collection of comprehensive, real-time, aggregated traffic data, and disseminate such directly to motorists, to enable them to better plan and optimise their travel routes.
10. This information will also help LTA develop a more accurate picture of the real-time traffic situation and intervene where necessary, such as by adjusting traffic light timings and providing traffic light priority for buses.
Moving Towards a Greener Transport System
Expanding Hybrid and Electric Bus Trials
11. To build a more environmentally-friendly public bus fleet, LTA has been working with bus operators and manufacturers to conduct single-unit hybrid and diesel bus trials. These include a diesel-hybrid bus trial by SBS Transit and Volvo in 2015, and an ongoing fully-electric bus trial with Go-Ahead Singapore, BYD and S Dreams. While these buses come at a higher cost, they are less pollutive, and contribute to a more comfortable working environment for bus captains and smoother rides for commuters. As the preliminary results are encouraging, we are stepping up to larger-scale trials in the next couple of years with 50 hybrid buses and 60 electric buses. We will have three bus services which are fully served by electric buses. This will help us gain a deeper understanding of the operational challenges that come with the wider deployment of such buses under local tropical weather and traffic conditions. We will draw from our experiences in these trials to calibrate our approach to adopting alternative energy buses.
Studying Feasibility of E-Taxi Fleet
12. As part of Singapore’s Electric Vehicle (EV) Phase 2 Test-bed, which aims to explore the viability of operating fleets of EVs for car-sharing and of electric taxis, LTA and the Economic Development Board (EDB) worked with HDT Singapore Taxis Pte Ltd to bring in Singapore’s first fully-electric taxi fleet. HDT began operating its fully-electric taxi service in September 2016, and will progressively deploy 100 e-taxis by mid-2017 as part of an eight-year trial.
Rolling Out Singapore’s First Large-Scale EV Car-Sharing Programme
13. LTA and EDB partnered BlueSG Pte Ltd to launch the BlueSG EV car-sharing programme, which will see 1,000 shared EVs deployed across all HDB towns by 2020, and the installation of 2,000 charging points island-wide. This will lay the foundation for a nation-wide EV charging infrastructure. The first batch of 125 Bluecars and 250 charging points will be rolled out by the second half of 2017.