© Reuters. Cars ply the roads in downtown Singapore© Reuters. Cars ply the roads in downtown Singapore

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore is hoping to deploy autonomous buses on public roads in three different districts of the city-state from 2022 to provide better connectivity, the country’s Ministry of Transport said in a statement on Wednesday.

Countries around the world are encouraging the development of self-driving technologies. High-density Singapore, which has manpower shortages in many sectors, is at the forefront of such efforts and is hoping to prompt its residents to use more shared vehicles and public transport.

There are at least 10 companies testing their autonomous technology on the island.

Autonomous scheduled bus services will complement human-driven public buses, and will initially travel on less crowded roads, according to the statement.

Autonomous on-demand shuttles will allow commuters to hail the services via their mobile phones.

The government said it was seeking inputs from the industry and research institutions on the key requirements for the successful pilot launch of these autonomous vehicles.

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