Singapore said Monday that it plans to start rolling out self-driving buses sometime next year.
The Ministry of Transport designated almost 4 miles of road to test the buses.
"We hope to one day deploy a network of demand-responsive shared vehicles to form a new mobility system for intra- and inter-town travel," the government said in a statement on Facebook. "This will provide convenient point-to-point transport mode within towns, and help us rely less on private cars. In time to come, we also wish to have self-driving buses operating on fixed routes and scheduled timings to reduce the heavy reliance on manpower."
But the tiny city-state isn't the only place in East Asia actively pursuing self-driving public transportation.
In nearby China, bus manufacturer Yutong said last October that tests on its autonomous bus yielded successful results while driving on a 20-mile stretch between Zhengzhou and Kaifeng, in Henan province.
By contrast, the race to produce safe self-driving vehicles in the U.S. has focused on personal cars. Google's self-driving cars look like individual bug-like pods. Tesla, on the hand, has added autonomous features to its newest all-electric vehicles.
The Morning Email helps you start your workday with everything you need to know: breaking news, entertainment and a dash of fun. Learn more