Singapore is the first nation to have a self-driving taxi service. Free rides are currently available to select members. The taxis can be hailed through smartphones. The brain behind the operation is software startup Nutonomy.
Singapore is the first in the world to enjoy a consumer trial for self-driving taxis. The vehicles are operated by a small MIT startup who managed to beat Uber to the race. Last week, Uber announced that it will introduce self-driving taxis in Pittsburg no later than the end of the month. Some were skeptical of this happening.
“nuTonomy’s first-in-the-world public trial is a direct reflection of the level of maturity that we have achieved with our AV software system. The trial represents an extraordinary opportunity to collect feedback from riders in a real-world setting,” says Karl Iagnemma, CEO and Co-Founder of Nutonomy.
However, Nutonomy came in and scooped Uber just a few weeks before the online transportation network company was set to release its own vehicles.
“The trial, which will continue on an on-going basis, is being held within Singapore’s one-north business district, where nuTonomy has been conducting daily autonomous vehicle (AV) testing since April,” reads Nutonomy’s press release.
The taxi fleet includes Mitsubishi i-Miev and Renault Zoe vehicles. The electric vehicles have been modified to work with data picked by specific sensors. The service will also come with a driver that can take over if needed. Riders must be invited by Nutonomy to use the taxi service. The number of people is small, but within the next months, the company plans to expand the list of guests.
Nutonomy is already operating a self-driving car trial in Michigan, U.S., and in the U.K. However, the taxi service is only available in the southern Malaysian city-state. The MIT company hopes to officially launch the service in Singapore in 2018, after the successfully completing the trials.
A video of the taxi service trial can be seen below:
Nutonomy is a leading developer of autonomous vehicles software. Founded by experts in robotics, the company develops state-of-the-art solutions to provide point-to-point transportation with large fleets of self-driving vehicles. Up until now, the company’s products have been engaged in trials in the United States, Europe, and Singapore.
IMAGE SOURCE: WSJ