Singapore kickstarts self-driving taxi services for the first time
Singapore has beaten all the other developed and tech-handy countries in the world by becoming the first nation to launch self-driving taxis, nuTonomy, on Thursday. nuTonomy was founded in 2013 by Iagnemma and Emilio Frazzoli of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and currently runs operation based in the United States. This company has already initiated the business of self-driving taxis, on a small scale, in a district of Singapore which is concentrated with businesses. The company named its previous initiative as One-North.
On Thursday, nuTonomy was introduced to the crowded roads of Singapore. Presently, only a limited number of cars have been sent for the purpose of testing. The company has decided to start checking their performances and public response by sending out 6 cars on the roads of Singapore. There is a possibility of these self-driving taxis to double-up in the future and a dozen are expected to be operating in Singapore by the end of 2018. The country aims to launch a complete fleet of self-driving taxis by the year 2018, if everything is followed up smoothly.
nuTonomy’s chief officer, Doug Parker, has told the Associate Press that these taxis are going to reduce the number of automobiles on the road. Currently, there are around 900, 000 vehicles plying on the roads of Singapore. It is being promised that with the introduction of more self-driving taxis, the number of cars will drastically drop down to 300, 000. Which in turn will reduce traffic and air pollution. He also said that there is a high possibility that this technology will be adopted by other tech-friendly cities of the world.
nuTonomy has already outdone many of the researchers who have been working on self-driving cars, including Google, Volvo and even the internet business dominating the Chinese market, Baidu Inc. Additionally, the internationally renowned, Uber technology has also failed to compete with this new nuTonomy project.