Featured image credit: Jason Quah/TODAY

A trial smart bus stop that promises commuters a cooler and more comfortable wait was launched today outside Plaza Singapura in Orchard Road, Singapore.

According to a government news portal OpenGov, the smart bus stop has been initiated to address the dual problems of urban heat and air pollution (PM2.5) faced by commuters.

The Airbitat Oasis Smart Bus Stop delivers energy-efficient, sustainable cooling with no waste heat generation, using water to cool air to as low as 24°C to address urban heat. Air purification technology removes harmful airborne particles such as PM2.5.

Furthermore, the bus stop harnesses digitalisation and data analytics to transform the commuter's overall transit experience.

Local paper Today cited Innosparks stating that this technology, called the Smart Cooler, can result in energy savings of up to 70% compared to the average air conditioner of an equivalent capacity, and has been previously deployed in attractions such as Resorts World Sentosa and Singapore Mandai Zoo.

The project was developed over 18 months by Innosparks, a subsidiary of ST Engineering.

While the air flowing out from the vents can be as low as 24 °C, commuters will experience air temperatures around 3 to 4 °C higher, due to differences in ambient temperature.

The filtration system can also trap up to 90% of harmful air particles in the air like debris, dirt and PM 2.5 particles, offering commuters cleaner air.

Embedded sensors in the panels of the bus stop help collect real-time data on pollution levels and ambient temperature, which will be displayed to commuters on digital screens.

Transforming land transport infrastructure

"Designers of Smart Cities need to reimagine infrastructure and design solutions that improve their liveability for citizens. With this world's first Airbitat Oasis Smart Bus Stop, ST Engineering is trialling an approach of harnessing technology and innovation to transform land transport infrastructure so that even simple daily activities such as waiting for a bus can be greatly improved through data analytics, air cooling and purification technologies," said Gareth Tang, Head, lnnosparks, an ST Engineering Open Lab.

The bus stop, which can accommodate around 30 people, comes equipped with a CCTV camera to detect suspicious activities such as unattended baggage and loitering.

Tang said the one-year trial will allow the company to amass data, which can be applied to develop other smart city solutions in the future.

Tang added that they will be collecting data on average commuter waiting times and commuter flow with real-time video recording and will share with Land Transport Authority and other interested government agencies.