Car companies around the world are making impressive strides toward making autonomous cars a reality. And with the technology for these vehicles looming on the horizon, it’s prompting the public to reimagine how the technology will fundamentally shift our way of life and present new opportunities for peripheral industries.
But despite this promise, the world has yet to see autonomous vehicles prove their real potential. We’re not looking for proof of the most basic self-driving features, like autonomous parking or highway driving. Instead, we want to see level 4 autonomy–the kind where all you have to do is get int the car, sit back, relax, and wait until you arrive at your destination. Which makes MIT’s spinout company, nuTonomy, something to really look forward to.
nuTonomy will soon be launching a fully autonomous urban taxi service in Singapore. As a passenger, all you have to do is call for a self-driving car using your smartphone. Once it picks you up you just tell it where to go and you can enjoy the ride.
By fully autonomous, nuTonomy points out that they will be deploying vehicles “designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip.”
This giant leap forward in autonomous vehicles gives nuTonomy, as small and young as it is, the great distinction of being the first company in the world to operationalize level 4 autonomous vehicles for consumers. In addition, Singapore’s progressive approach towards legislation and regulations for the technology makes it an ideal market.
The pilot will begin in Singapore’s One North, a business park near the national university, with a vision of underscoring the commercial viability of the technology.