Autonomous vehicle software startup nuTonomy has made rides on its self-driving taxis available to the general public in Singapore for free, expanding a first-in-the world run that was initially invitation-only.
While multiple companies, including Google and Volvo, have been testing self-driving cars on public roads for several years, nuTonomy announced in August that was the first to offer autonomous taxi rides. It beat Uber, which started offering rides in autonomous cars in Pittsburgh last week.
The Singapore trial was limited to a 2.5-square-mile (6.5-square-kilometer) business and residential district called “one north.” NuTonomy CEO Karl Iagnemma said Friday that the test area has since been doubled by the government. The approved route does not include any highways.
NuTonomy, a spinoff from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, announced Friday that the public can now book self-driving taxis through an app by Grab, the biggest ride-hailing company in Southeast Asia. The two companies announced a year-long partnership.
To book a ride, passengers will have to select the ‘robo-car’ option on Grab’s app, which has been downloaded more than 20 million times. More info
By AP www.emirates247.com