- Electric car converted into an autonomous vehicle at low cost
1. Singapore – In an ongoing effort to help Singapore develop innovative transport solutions, the Singapore-MIT Alliance
for Research and Technology (SMART) [新加坡-麻省理工学院科研中心] launched Singapore’s very first locally-developed
driverless car that is designed for operations on public roads.
2. Adapted from its prototype driverless golf cart, this driverless car dubbed SCOT (Shared Computer Operated Transport)
is operationally-ready for the public roads. Unlike other driverless cars which are retrofitted with expensive 3-D laser
sensors, SCOT relies on low-cost off-the-shelf LIDAR sensors which enable the car to drive autonomously, independent
of the Global Positioning System (GPS). This unique feature allows it to drive even in tunnels and places where GPS signals
would be hindered.
3. A collaborative project between SMART and the National University of Singapore (NUS), this driverless car aims to
resolve the “first- and last-mile problem”, which is especially pertinent in view of Singapore’s ageing society. It also aims
to help promote car-sharing as the driverless car is able to resolve the ‘rebalancing’ issue (i.e. getting the car to the
next car-sharing customer once the previous customer drops off the car) when cars are shared (See Factsheet).
4. Professor Emilio Frazzoli, SMART Lead Investigator for the Future Urban Mobility (FM) Interdisciplinary Research
Group (IRG), said: “SCOT is a testimony of the researchers and students’ talent, innovation and dedication considering
that we converted the electric car into a driverless car in just six months at no more than S$30,000 for the sensors
and onboard computer. Our demonstration today takes us one step in making driverless cars a reality in Singapore. ”
5. NUS collaborator Professor Marcelo Ang, added, “Going forward, we hope to be able to deploy a mobility-on-demand
system in controlled areas such as resorts. This will not only help us to learn and improve the system, but also provide
a visible platform to increase public awareness and government support in our endeavour to create better transport
solutions for urban cities.”
6. The research was funded by the Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF) through SMART at the Campus for
Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise (CREATE).