NuTonomy, the company that grabbed quite a lot of headlines earlier this year when it launched a self-driving car pilot in Singapore, will begin testing of its self-driving tech in Boston before the end of 2016.
Once up and running, this pilot will mark the first time that nuTonomy has tested its technologies on public roads within the US. Initially, the testing will consist of one retrofitted Renault Zoe EV being tested in Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park, in Boston’s Seaport area — a 191-acre site that previously served as a military base (a while back).
The test work in Boston will reportedly be centered around pedestrian detection and response, street sign recognition and input, and system response to inclement weather.
Following initial work at the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park site, the company will then begin testing in other parts of the city. However, nothing solid has been revealed yet related to this expansion of testing.
As with Uber’s self-driving tests in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) and Google’s testing in various cities, nuTonomy’s testing will be performed with an engineer in the vehicle, ready to take controls if need be.
The test work is the result of nuTonomy and various state and city officials having signed a memorandum of understanding on the matter.
The choice of Boston is related to the fact that nuTonomy came to life nearby, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Specifically, it was dreamt up in the minds of company founders Karl Iagnemma and Emilio Frazzoli while at MIT.
“Testing our self-driving cars so near to nuTonomy’s home is the next step towards our ultimate goal: deployment of a safe, efficient, fully autonomous mobility-on-demand transportation service,” commented Iagnemma.
Notably, the company is still planning to launch a fully autonomous on-demand mobility service in Singapore in 2018.
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