10/12/2015 02:42 pm ET

Self-Driving Buses Are Coming, But Not To America (Yet)

Singapore plans to start testing the vehicles next year.

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Singapore will soon begin testing self-driving buses.

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.

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Here's the route Google Maps says buses travel between the Chinese cities of Zhengzhou and Kaifeng.

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.