Published on September 3rd, 2016 | by James Ayre0
World’s 1st Public Self-Driving Taxi Pilot Program Now Underway In Singapore, via nuTonomy
September 3rd, 2016 by James Ayre
The world’s first public, self-driving taxi pilot program is now underway in Singapore, according to recent reports — with nuTonomy’s ride-hailing app now being functional for those looking to travel within Singapore’s one-north business district. This is the same district that the firm has been doing testing in since April.
The pilot will reportedly be continuing indefinitely, rather than for a set period. The plan is apparently to use the data gathered during the pilot — on software system performance, vehicle routing efficiency, the ride-booking process, etc. — to improve the firm’s software in anticipation of the launch of a full-scale commercial autonomous taxi service in 2018 in Singapore.
The launch of the new pilot follows the selection of nuTonomy as a research and development partner by the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA), which occurred just in August. So, it’s a fairly rapid rollout following the selection. It seems Singapore’s government is in a bit of a hurry to get an autonomous taxi service up and running.
The new pilot taxis are Renault Zoe and Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric vehicles that have been outfitted with various sensors and computing systems. Importantly, as with Uber’s new pilot program in Pittsburgh, there will be engineers riding along in order to observe performance and take control of the vehicle if need be.
Also worth noting here is that nuTonomy is currently testing out its self-driving car technology in Michigan and in the UK as well. Interestingly, the company is working with major auto manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover on the research.