Because we live in a big world, time zones are a thing – and it seems that the future is also coming to certain parts of the world faster.
Case in point, the future is now in Singapore, where autonomous vehicle software startup ‘nuTonomy’ seems to be the very first company to introduce a public trial of what they name a ‘robo-taxi service.’ Essentially a driverless endeavor, the service has become operational in a business district in Singapore, where certain residents can be invited by nuTonomy to use a smartphone app that books them a free of charge ride in one of their new, driverless taxis. The cars being used for the autonomous taxi service are reworked Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Renault Zoe full-electric city hatchbacks – where a person from nuTonomy is always behind the wheel to take control of the vehicle in case something goes awry.
With the trial run collecting tons of data, nuTonomy aims to make the software ready for a widely-available ‘robo-taxi service’ in Singapore as soon as 2018. There are six cars used for the project, with a quest to double the fleet by the end of the year – and they use six sets of LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) systems, along with dual cameras mounted on the dashboard. The company also has automotive projects with major companies, such as Jaguar Land Rover in the UK.
Via nuTonomy via asahi.com