A Research Platform for Singapore

Towards the Ultimate Public Transport System

Phase 2 (April 2016 - March 2021)


TUMCREATE Phase 2 aims to see the evolution of the urban bus system to a more convenient, connected and efficient public transport system. With Singapore as the study ground, TUMCREATE introduces the concept of a Dynamic Autonomous Road Transit (DART) system that consists of a fleet of mixed-size modular electric, autonomous road-based vehicles, with high level secure communication between vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-intelligent infrastructure, to realize an efficient, attractive and comfortable mobility service. 


The ultimate goal is to see the current bus system into a fully-connected, new shared-mobility system encompassing flexible-and fixed-route services, along with low to high passenger capacity services, intelligent passenger information services and providing good connectivity to the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system.


Key characteristics of the DART System

  • Shorter travel times through faster boarding/alighting at intelligent stops and prioritisation of public transport on the road and at traffic light junctions
  • Versatile operation using modular autonomous vehicles
  • Flexible passenger capacity during peak and non-peak hours by dynamically platooning modular DART vehicles
  • Shorter waiting times at stops through demand-responsive dispatching of modular autonomous vehicles
  • Cleaner urban environment by using electric battery-powered vehicles with zero local emissions


These characteristics allow the DART System to dynamically adapt to the required capacity and enable different operational strategies to create an integrated DART system and improve passengers travel experience. 


For high capacity:

DART vehicles are platooned, creating a line capacity of up to 6000 persons per hour in main corridor lines. Routes, service frequency and stops are fixed. The platooning concept allows the required passenger capacity to be adjusted while keeping the headway constant.


These high capacity platooned services are accelerated using on-demand lanes and traffic signal prioritization and redesigned intelligent stops to accommodate long platoons and reduce waiting time at stops.


For medium capacity:

Operation is similar to current bus system by using a small number of modules operating as a platoon. Routes, service frequency and stops are fixed. The platooning concept allows the required passenger capacity to be varied, creating a line capacity of up to 1200 persons per hour (like a bus line), but with shorter waiting times.


The DART vehicles will use the existing infrastructure of roads and stops.


For low capacity:

Single DART vehicles will serve as an on-demand service for low passenger capacity routes (of up to 30 passengers), using the existing road infrastructure and stops.


Stops are fixed, routes and service frequency are flexible.



The DART system can provide all public transport needs below the MRT passenger capacity.