Researchers in Singapore have come up with a solution to reduce accidents that involve phone-obsessed walkers, a self-driving mobility scooter that drives single pedestrians along footpaths.
The one seater scooter, travels at a top speed of 6kmh and has laser sensors to help navigate around obstacles.
The scooter is developed by the National University of Singapore (NUS), which happens to be the city’s latest experiment with driverless vehicles as it stresses upon its vision of using autonomous technology to handle the challenges of its limited land and labor.
The self-driving scooter has been through successful tests on campus and developers have said that the scooter can also help them improve mobility regardless of any age, also the scooter will cut down the need for cars with reduced rate in accidents.
“I’m sure you have experienced people who just use their handphone while walking, and almost run into you … so it would be nice if you are just sitting down and checking your emails,” said NUS Associate Professor and project leader Marcelo Ang Jr. “We just give you more choices.”
Ang Jr. also said that the scooter would be able to work with other driverless vehicles in Singapore, where robo-taxis are being tested and trials are planned for self-driving buses.
He said the scooter was meant to be used on narrow pathways where larger vehicles fail to access. Meanwhile, the scooter is looking for ways to calibrate a different route whenever an obstacle draws near, Ang Jr. further added that the team is working on it for improvement. “It goes really smoothly and travels very safely,” said a Singaporean student who tested the scooter.
The self-driving scooter project is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART).