Singapore plans to use drones, unmanned cars to inspect railway tunnels

Land Transport Authority believes that use of high-end technologies can improve inspection of railway tunnels.

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Representational image of drone Reuters

In a bid to experiment the latest technology, the transport regulator of Singapore, The Land Transport Authority (LTA), on Wednesday has announced that they are mulling over the idea of using drones and unmanned vehicles to inspect the underground railway tunnels.

LTA has already put out a request asking for the possible industry participations in the use of autonomous aircraft and car technology for inspections of its Mass Rapid Transit system and road tunnels.

At this point, the authority uses manual labour to carry out regular inspections on the rail system, including tunnels, to check for any kind of emergency or problem, such as cracks or water leaks. According to experts, use of high-end technologies can improve the effectiveness of such inspections manyfold. "The use of automated technologies ... will not only improve the accuracy of inspections but will also free up engineers' time, enabling them to focus on the analysis of the data captured to recommend any necessary remedial measures," the Land Transport Authority said in a statement.

Moreover, Singapore has also announced that it will begin testing driverless buses and trucks soon. Self-driving cars are already being tested on public roads in a high-tech company district in the west of the city.