Self-Driving Bus Service Launches in Singapore

It’s another milestone for Chinese self-driving company WeRide

Graham Hope

July 8, 2024

2 Min Read
WeRide's fully autonomous, Level 4 passenger bus service.
WeRide

Chinese self-driving company WeRide has notched up another milestone, with the launch of Singapore’s first fully autonomous, Level 4 passenger bus service.

The Guangzhou-based firm’s Robobus is operating out of the Equarius Hotel at Resorts World Sentosa, traveling along a route that spans 0.7 miles.

The route connects a series of hotels via four stops, making it easy for guests to travel around the resort, and takes around 12 minutes to complete. Although the bus drives itself, as a video released by WeRide shows, a human safety monitor will be on board to accompany passengers.

Resorts World Sentosa is a vast complex that includes Universal Studios Singapore, Dolphin Island, a waterpark, multiple theme parks and numerous hotels and restaurants, attracting around 12 million visitors annually, making it one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations.

WeRide’s deployment of the Robobus there has come impressively swiftly, with the company only having been granted Singapore’s M1 and T1 public road licenses for autonomous vehicles (AVs) last December. 

The Robobus itself has 360-degree sensing capability with no blind spots and a 200-meter range of obstacle detection. The top speed is 25 mph and it can operate under all kinds of weather conditions.

Related:Driverless Robobus Test Launches in Saudi Arabia

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The arrival of the service, which is being run in conjunction with local transport operator EZBuzz, was hailed by Singapore’s Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Culture, Community and Youth, Alvin Tan, who said: “The real-world pilot of intra-hotel transportation is a big step towards a driverless future. 

“By integrating AV tech, we allow for a more productive use of our limited manpower resources and ensure a more sustainable and scalable transport solution.”

Singapore is the latest addition to a growing list of locations where the Robobus is now active, which stretches to nearly 30 cities worldwide. Alongside numerous urban centers in China, there have also been pilots in the Middle East – in both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – while the company also showcased the AV at the recent French Open tennis tournament in Paris.

WeRide’s Singapore operations are not restricted to the Robobus, either. In June, its innovative autonomous Robosweeper began safety testing in the city, with plans to start official operations by the end of this year. 

It has already been rolled out in several Chinese cities, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dalian, Beijing, and Zhengzhou.

WeRide’s Robotaxis and Robovans are expected to arrive in Singapore in 2025.

Related:WeRide Gets National Self-Driving License From UAE

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Asia

About the Author(s)

Graham Hope

Graham Hope has worked in automotive journalism in the U.K. for 26 years, including spells as editor of leading consumer news website and weekly Auto Express and respected buying guide CarBuyer.

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