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NTU And Volvo Unveil World’s First Full-Size Self-Driving Bus
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Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and Volvo Buses have launched the world’s first full size, autonomous electric bus. The single-deck Volvo Electric bus is 12 meters long and has a full capacity of almost 80 passengers.

The Volvo 7900 Electric bus is equipped with numerous sensors, including light detection and ranging sensors, stereo-vision cameras that capture images in 3D and an advanced global navigation satellite system that uses real-time kinematics. This navigation system is similar to existing global positioning systems (GPS) but uses multiple data sources to give location accuracy of up to one centimeter.

The system is also hooked up to an inertial management unit, which acts like a two-in-one gyroscope and accelerometer, measuring the lateral and angular rate of the bus. This will improve its navigation when going over uneven terrain and around sharp bends, ensuring a smoother ride.

These sensors and GPS platforms will be managed by a comprehensive artificial intelligence (AI) system that was developed by NTU researchers. It not only operates the various sensors and GPS systems on the bus, but also enables it to navigate autonomously through dense traffic and tropical weather conditions.

The AI system is protected with industry-leading cybersecurity and firewall measures to prevent unwanted intrusions for maximum safety and reliability.

The Volvo bus is the first of two that has undergone preliminary rounds of rigorous testing at the Centre of Excellence for Testing and Research of Autonomous vehicles at NTU (CETRAN). Plans are in place to test the bus on NTU roads and to subsequently extend the route beyond the NTU campus.

“This fully autonomous electric bus will play a role in shaping the future of public transportation that is safe, efficient, reliable and comfortable for all commuters. It will soon be tested on the NTU Smart Campus, which has been home to a number of innovations as a living testbed for technologies that impact the human condition and the quality of life,” said NTU President Professor Subra Suresh.

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