Grant Call for Designing Bus Stops, Taxi Stands and Pick-Up Drop-Offs for an Autonomous Vehicle Future

To strengthen Singapore‚Äôs Autonomous Vehicle (AV) readiness, research is needed to identify potential gaps and challenges posed by existing infrastructure for AVs.  Bus stops, taxi stands, and Pick-Up Drop-Offs (PUDOs) are dedicated spaces where commuters board and alight vehicles. As Singapore prepares for a transition towards AVs, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) are interested to determine if AVs would be able to smoothly and safely maneuver through these facilities to pick up or drop off their passengers.

LTA is launching this grant call to have a better understanding of the challenges that existing bus stops, taxi stands and PUDO designs may pose to AVs, and investigate how these facilities can be designed and equipped to facilitate AV deployment and enhance user experience. Recommendations from the study will also contribute to the formulation and review of guidelines or standards to ensure the safe operation of AVs with other manned vehicles.

This is an image of a bus interchange in Singapore.

Scope of Work

Through this grant call, LTA and URA are looking for proposals to examine and identify design recommendations and strategies that facilitate AV operation at bus stops, taxi stands and PUDOs. The three focus areas identified are:

  1. Focus Area A: Analyse demand and throughput of bus stops, taxi stands and PUDOs;
  2. Focus Area B: Propose design suited for AVs; and
  3. Focus Area C: Exploring the impact of AVs at bus stops, taxi stands, and PUDOs for commuters

Proposals must address all 3 focus areas identified above with no prescribed order for their completion.

Eligibility Criteria

The call is open to all R&D organisations in Singapore including publicly-funded institutes of higher learning (IHLs), not-for-profit research institutions (RIs), public sector agencies, companies and company-affiliated research entities.  The Lead Principal Investigator must have a minimum time commitment of 9 months per year in Singapore. International parties can participate as collaborators.

How to Apply?

Please download the relevant documents here:

Submission for all Full Proposals must follow the Full Proposal Guidelines and should only be in Word, Excel or PDF formats. All documents should be submitted to LTA_Innovate@lta.gov.sg

Proposals will be selected through a single-stage process and evaluated based on i) potential for impact and subsequent scalability, ii) strength of project execution, and iii) technical competency of the team. Shortlisted proposals will be invited to revise and present their submissions to the Technical Evaluation Panel (TEP).

Proposals should cover the objectives, proposed approach and project execution plan. This would include explaining and quantifying the outcomes that could be achieved with the proposed research area.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to include an industry partner who would be able to supply a working AV for trials. Where applicable, the technology readiness level (TRL) of the proposed technology should be at least TRL 6 (prototype demonstration in a relevant environment) and above at the end of the project.

Submission Deadline

Submission of proposals for this Grant Call commenced on 19 Oct 2020 (Mon), 1200hrs and closed on 16 Nov 2020 (Mon), 1200hrs. Evaluation is currently in progress.

For further enquiries on this Grant Call, please email LTA at LTA_Innovate@lta.gov.sg.

This focus area aims to understand the effect of design, development characteristics, and AV-type scenarios on the demand and throughput of bus stops, taxi stands and PUDOs, by:

  • Conducting a baseline assessment of the existing conditions and challenges of selected bus stops, taxi stands and PUDOs, such as the vehicle flow rate, dwell time, queue length, number of traffic conflicts, at different times of the day, particularly during peak hours;
  • Establishing traffic and pedestrian peak flows at selected bus stops, taxi stands and PUDOs;
  • Identifying development-level factors (such as development type, tenant-mix, etc.) and bus stop/taxi stand/PUDO design factors (such as the number of lanes, storage length, presence of dedicated lanes, etc.) that affect the demand and throughput of bus stops, taxi stands, and PUDOs; and
  • Modelling future demand and throughput based on the identified factors under different types of autonomous vehicles (e.g. AV buses, AV shuttles, and AV-sedans that include taxis or private hire)

 

This focus area aims to propose design recommendations for bus stops, taxi stands and PUDOs that allow AVs and manned vehicles to operate safely and efficiently, considering the sensor capabilities of AVs and the range of physical elements found at these facilities, by:

  • Identifying the physical elements at bus stops, taxi stands and PUDOs which would pose challenges to the perception, navigation and localisation of AVs;
  • Taking reference from international best practices and the findings of this study, propose design recommendations for bus stops, taxi stands and PUDOs of different development types to cater for the entry, boarding/alighting of passengers, and departure of AVs, while keeping in mind other functions and trade-offs such as to minimise land take etc; and
  • Proposing low-cost supporting elements (e.g. reflective strips, additional signages) or supporting sensors (including LIDAR, RADAR and cameras) that could assist AVs in navigating a bus stop, taxi stand or PUDO. These additions should ideally be modular to allow for easy installation and removal.

The recommendations for this focus area should be validated through simulation studies (e.g. swept path studies) and piloted on site for evaluation. Recommendations shall be evaluated for their effectiveness under various scenarios (e.g. glare from the sun, poor lighting conditions, obstruction from pedestrian or other objects).

 

This focus area aims to explore the impact of AVs at bus stops, taxi stands, and PUDOs for different users, by:

  • Evaluating the impact of AVs on the safe movement of manned vehicles and commuters at bus stops, taxi stands, and PUDOs under different scenarios;
  • Identifying and analysing the behaviour and needs of different passenger groups (such as the elderly, families, and persons with disabilities) when using AV-ready bus stops, taxi stands and PUDOs; and
  • Recommending a set of strategies that could include the use of V2I technology, to enhance the service quality and propose how these could be integrated into the overall design of the bus stop, taxi stand or PUDO.

The recommendations from this Focus Area shall be evaluated for their effectiveness on site, where applicable.

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