Singapore realizes dream of world’s first fully-autonomous, zero-emission cab service
Japan had made headlines with the announcement of launching autonomous taxi service at 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. But a company, who had delivered their service to NASA and DARPA in development of robotics and had developed driver-less golf-carts, has developed world’s fully autonomous-car for Singapore and it’s all electric.
In 2013, nuTonomy had launched an autonomous-car consulting service and in 2016 it has come up with full-fledged autonomous taxi service provider in the country. The startup collaborated with MIT and made the dream of fully driverless car a reality and taking the world to full self-driving automation or say on Level 4. Google’s autonomous car is Level 3 because human assistance is sporadically required. The car can’t do it all by itself. But at Level 4, a user will be able to order a taxi by smartphone and need to choose the destination; the taxi will take care of the rest including deciding least congested roads.
Development of a completely driverless taxi means people can share cabs at the rate of public transport, which would eventually help in reduction in traffic congestion on roads with zero-emission mobility. In January, the startup had fetched a seed funding of $3.2 million. The funding round was sponsored by Signal Ventures, Samsung Ventures, Fontinalis Partners and Dr. Steven LaValle. The car had passed its first driving test in March this year after it successfully completed a driving course without a collision.
Now, nuTonomy is awaiting approval for on-road testing in a business district called One North. This district is designated for autonomous-vehicle testing. Although, it’ll take a few more years for the cab service to actually offer services to public, but still it has almost confirmed the future of public transport. The world is going to give it a very warm welcome as vehicular emissions, traffic congestion, lack of parking space, and depleting fossil fuel resources are surfacing with rapid modernization.