Singapore’s nuTonomy becomes the first in the world to bring autonomous cabs, superseding the likes of Uber and Google self-driving car project. The service has already started in Singapore, beating Uber which commences offering similar service in Pittsburg over the next few weeks. Passengers in Singapore will be able to hail this taxi service via their smartphones.
Founded by two researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, nuTonomy commenced the free taxi hailing service in a small business district in Singapore called one-north. This is a small area with tech firms and biotechnology companies.
nuTonomy fleet includes Renault Zoe’s and Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric cars. Currently, the services are offered in select areas and to a limited number of people who were sent an invite to install the app. nuTonomy plans on offering autonomous taxi service across the entire country by 2018.
Each car is fitted with 6 sets of Lidar detection system that uses lasers to operate along with one that constantly spins on the roof. There are also 2 cameras on the dashboard for scanning of obstacles and detection of traffic lights.
Though offered free of cost as on date, the service will be chargeable with more pick up and drop off points will be added in the near future. Doug Parker, nuTonomy’s Chief Operating Officer estimates that number of cars on roads across Singapore will reduce from 900,000 to 300,000.