Following the recent announcement that driverless taxis may be tested on its roads, Singapore is set to extend its autonomous vehicle credentials further still. The country's public transport operator SMRT has partnered with sustainable mobility firm 2getthere to roll-out driverless pods later this year.

In doing so, SMRT and 2getthere have formed a new joint venture called 2getthere Asia, via which they plan to market, install, operate and maintain "Automated Vehicle systems" for customers in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region. The planned first act of 2getthere Asia is to bring 2getthere's 3rd Generation Group Rapid Transit (GRT) vehicles to Singapore by the end of the year.

The third generation GRT was designed by 2getthere in partnership with Italian automotive firm Zagato Milano, the two companies having previously worked together on the personal rapid transit (PRT) system for Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates.

The pods have a flexible interior that can seat eight or twelve people and can accommodate up to 24 passengers in total. They are fully electric, powered by lithium iron phosphate batteries and have a top speed of 40 km/h (25 mph). An obstacle detection system is employed for the safety of passengers, pedestrians and other road users, while air conditioning and wide automated doors help to ensure comfort and accessibility for passengers.

The pods will be used to service first and last-mile mobility needs in Singapore.

Sources: SMRT, 2getthere