Autonomous cars is a phenomenon that is coming on fast. US manufacturers are striving to break into this promising ground and a promise goes around of being able to see the much-bruited-about driverless Audi TT in around the year 2015. But there is a place where you can see driverless riding even now – in Singapore!
The Singaporean wonder is known as the Navia. It looks a bit funny, its design being a bow to old carts or old toy cars, and thoroughly up-to-date at the same time. It’s really a fully autonomous affair fitted with sensors and lasers intended to scan the road ahead and prevent the Navia from driving into something.
The Singaporean road hitter is an eight-seater electric-motor driven invention to carry passengers about the town. It is equipped with a touchscreen navigational system. When not in demand it drives straight to its charger and connects.
It sounds nearly perfect, but drawbacks are rather serious and obvious. This little technical marvel can’t go very far outside the area engirdling its charger, so it is likely to serve only within city districts – no highways for it, ever. The second doubtful point is horsepower. The Navia as it is now can’t get above 12.5 MPH. Really almost a toy for the time being.
The producing company realizes it very well, though, and they mainly intend for their vehicle to traipse about venues like theme parks, airports, university campuses or hospital complexes. Dubbed “last mile cars,” they will soon be performing the same kind of duties in Singapore.
The Navias have undergone successful testing in various areas worldwide, the US testing conducted in June in Austin, Texas, and will soon be working hard at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. It stands a fair chance of becoming a historic place by the year 2020 when driverless cars are an indispensable feature of future-world cities.