Artificial Intelligence

The World’s First Autonomous Taxis Just Started Driving in Singapore

They really had us at "free taxis."

NuTonomy, an autonomous taxi startup, has been working with the Singapore government in developing self-driving technology for quite some time now. They have been rather silent about progress, up until they broke it with a big reveal.

Beating competitors like Uber and Google, NuTonomy has been able to place self-driving taxis on Singaporean roads for the public, revealing the service earlier today.

But don’t hop on to a plane for Singapore just yet.

The public trials are starting small—six vehicles for now, with up to a dozen by year’s end. The cars, mostly Renault Zoe and Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric cars, are debuting in the (primarily tech) business district area, one-north. The cars will be loading and unloading at specific points in the district, and the rides are “invite-only”—for now. All rides are free during the trial run.

The startup beat competitors to the punch—especially Uber, which is debuting its own driverless cars in Pittsburgh in a few weeks, but with a much larger roll-out. Also, NuTonomy is not the only player in Singapore, with the government working with auto supplier Delphi Corp. on developing autonomous vehicles.

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