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.