nuTonomy, the leading developer of state-of-the art software for self-driving cars, launched the first-ever public trial of a robo-taxi service, on Thursday. 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.
Since its public trial began, select Singapore residents have been invited to use nuTonomy’s ride-hailing smartphone app to book a no-cost ride in a nuTonomy self-driving car that employs the company’s sophisticated 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 from nuTonomy will ride in the vehicle to observe system performance and assume control if needed to ensure passenger comfort and safety.
Throughout the trial, nuTonomy will collect and evaluate valuable data related to software system performance, vehicle routing efficiency, the vehicle booking process, and the overall passenger experience. 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.
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.