SINGAPORE (June 11): In the race to deploy driverless public transport, Singapore has built a mini town that could vault it into pole position.

The 2ha complex, unveiled in November, has intersections, traffic lights, bus stops and pedestrian crossings, all built to the specifications that Singapore uses for its public roads. There is a mini hill to check how vehicle sensors perform when they cannot see directly ahead, mock skyscrapers to mimic the radio interference from tall buildings and a rain machine to simulate the island’s frequent tropical downpours.

The advantage for the city state is that the test circuit, and the information provided by companies vying to put driverless buses on Singapore’s streets, is helping it build an unrivalled database of information on the challenges and solutions that would allow the government to introduce the technology safely.

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