A newly enhanced Auto Rider that will offer on-demand autonomous shuttle service and a novel night-time ride experience was unveiled today at Gardens by the Bay.
The Auto Rider at Gardens by the Bay became the first fully operational autonomous vehicle in Asia when it debuted in 2015. The new fleet, which boasts enhanced features including the ability to carry more passengers and operate for a longer period, is the product of collaboration between ST Engineering and a consortium of partners. Designed and manufactured by French company NAVYA, a global leader in autonomous vehicles and driving systems for the transport of passengers and goods, it will be operated jointly by WILLERS, the Singapore subsidiary of Japan’s largest private bus operator, and CarClub, Singapore’s largest car-sharing operator.
From Saturday, 26 October, visitors at the Gardens will be able to book a shuttle ride using the Auto Rider @ Gardens by the Bay mobile app or at self-ticketing kiosks located at the boarding and alighting points. A cashless payment system has also been integrated with the booking system, offering greater convenience.
The new Auto Rider will also boast a state-of-the-art transparent film technology that incorporates light effects and projects artistic images onto the windows. In the evening, the effects are visible from outside the vehicles, and does not affect the transparency of the windows for the passengers looking out from within.
Dr. Lee Shiang Long, President, Land Systems of ST Engineering said, “Over the years, ST Engineering has been building up autonomous capabilities. From the Auto Rider at Gardens by the Bay to the STROBO Bus on Sentosa, we continuously engage customers and gather public feedback. These insights accelerate our understanding of the engineering challenges and application of this new technology, enabling us to deliver customised and practical autonomous mobility solutions that offers positive user experience.”
Said Mr Shigetaka Murase, CEO of WILLERS, “Autonomous vehicles have the potential to be a new mobility solution in resolving social issues in different countries. At Gardens by the Bay, we aim to provide an autonomous shuttle that will deliver a new user experience to make visits more enjoyable. It shall not only make travelling more convenient, but also provide an entertaining and exciting ride experience.”
Mr Etienne Hermite, CEO, NAVYA, said, “NAVYA is excited to work with ST Engineering, WILLERS and CarClub to bring its globally deployed autonomous shuttle to Gardens by the Bay. It is an ideal environment to showcase the ways in which driverless vehicles integrate into our everyday lives.”
Mr Felix Loh, CEO of Gardens by the Bay, said, “Gardens by the Bay has always been known to break new ground in the way that we connect people and plants, and this includes tapping on technology to reach out to an urban generation. The new Auto Rider not only provides an alternative mode of getting around, but enhances the overall visitor experience of the Gardens. Its extended operating hours also complement our myriad offerings in the day and night.”
The new Auto Rider will ply a 1.5km route in the Gardens, between Bayfront Plaza (next to Bayfront MRT station) and the cooled conservatories, from 10am to 9pm daily.