First self-driving taxi available in Singapore
NuTonomy has launched the first-ever public trial of a robo-taxi service. 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. The service is expected to become widely available in Singapore in 2018.
Select Singapore residents will be invited to use nuTonomy’s ride-hailing smartphone app to book a no-cost ride in a self-driving car that employs the company’s software, which has been integrated with high-performance sensing and computing components. The rides will be provided in a Renault Zoe or Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric vehicle that nuTonomy has specially configured for autonomous driving. An engineer will be present in the vehicle to observe system performance and assume control if needed to ensure passenger comfort and safety.
Commercial robo-taxi service
Throughout the trial, valuable data related to software system performance, vehicle routing efficiency, the vehicle booking process and the overall passenger experience will be collected and evaluated. This data will enable nuTonomy to refine its software in preparation for the launch of a widely-available commercial robo-taxi service in Singapore in 2018.
Earlier this month, nuTonomy was selected by the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) as an R&D partner, to support the development of a commercial AV service in Singapore. This trial represents the first and rapid result of this partnership. nuTonomy is the first, and to date only, private enterprise approved by the Singapore government to test AVs on public roads.
Self-driving vehicle fleet
CEO and co-founder Karl Iagnemma said “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, and this feedback will give nuTonomy a unique advantage as we work toward deployment of a self-driving vehicle fleet in 2018.”
In May of this year, the company completed a 16 million dollar funding led by Highland Capital Partners that included participation from Fontinalis Partners, Signal Ventures, Samsung Ventures, and EDBI, the dedicated corporate investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board. In addition to Singapore, nuTonomy is operating self-driving cars in Michigan and the United Kingdom, where it tests software in partnership with major automotive manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover.