SEA Games: Driverless shuttle buses arrive in New Clark City

Gracie Rutao, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 21 2019 11:49 PM | Updated as of Nov 26 2019 10:01 AM

Self-driving shuttle buses that will be used in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games arrived in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac Thursday.

US-based mobility company Coast Autonomous gave media a glimpse of a driverless shuttle that will be roaming the streets of New Clark City during the SEA Games.

The pilot testing of the low-speed autonomous vehicles within NCC has no cost to the government.

The autonomous or “self-driving” vehicles will be used to provide transportation services for athletes during the event.

The shuttle can accommodate 12 to 14 passengers and will transport athletes to and from the sports venues.

Shuttle services will also be offered to guests and the riding public during the duration of the games.

According to Coast Autonomous CEO David Hickey, the vehicles have sensors to avoid accidents.

"We have a series of sensors in artificial intelligence and machine learning and robotics. That's basically how it operates, and so we use sensors, 7 different kinds of techniques, for the vehicle to know where it is. Through sensor fusion, we can pile those different techniques and knows what to operate," he explained.

High-definition, 3D mapping machines are used for the shuttles’ route.

It can run up to 25 miles per hour, and is electrically charged for 6 hours that could last up to 18 hours of driving.

"We charge it daily, in the morning we have a checklist, we check all the functions and then it drives. There is very few maintenance, no more mechanic side because it's fully electric," said Pier Lefevre, technology officer of Coast Autonomous.

New Clark City will serve as the main sports hub for this year’s SEA Games, with new and modern sports facilities built here.

These include the 20,000-seater Athletics Stadium, 2,000-seater Aquatics Center, and an Athletes Village that will provide housing and training facilities for the athletes, as well as for SEA Games officials and volunteers.

Of the more than 500 sporting events to be hosted in the 30th SEA Games, more than 200 events will be held in Clark.