Singapore awards license to put more electric taxis on road

HDT Singapore Taxi has been given the country's seventh taxi license after a two-year road trial and will be required to roll out at least 800 electric taxis island-wide within four years.

HDT Singapore Taxi (HDDT) has been awarded an operator license that will see at least 800 electric cabs rolled out island-wide within four years.

Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) said Tuesday it had issued the Taxi Service Operator License following a two-year trial involving 100 electric taxis run by HDDT. The license would run for a decade, effective August 1 this year.

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Under the license agreement, HDDT would have to roll out at least 800 e-taxis in the country within the next four years, including registering its existing fleet as regular taxis by end-August.

The new operator also would have to ensure adequate charging stations were set up across Singapore to support its fleet, LTA said.

According to the industry regular, the new licensee would join a network of six other taxi operators in the country.

LTA in the past couple of years also have been driving various initiatives to push autonomous vehicles on Singapore roads. In November 2017, it opened a new test centre--with Nanyang Technological University of Singapore (NTU) and JTC--to develop industry standards and ensure the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles on public roads.

In October 2016, LTA kicked off a pilot with NTU to test self-driving electric buses involving fixed and scheduled bus services for intra- and inter-town travel. The partnership also encompassed the development of autonomous bus technologies.

Through the initiatives, the land authority hoped to improve Singapore's transport infrastructure and assess the viability of on-demand autonomous vehicles to enhance first- and last-mile public journeys.