A Singapore Startup is Preparing for The World’s First Fully Autonomous Taxis

By Staff Writer

Apr 07, 2016 04:18 AM EDT

Singapore is closer to have autonomous vehicles on the street after a startup, called nuTonomy, planned and prepared to launch the world's first fully autonomous taxi in the country. The startup was formed three years ago with close collaboration and support from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

According to Mashable, nuTonomy is planning to launch thousands of autonomous taxis in Singapore. The move is important and significant because it could serve as a test case for other cities across the globe that aims to adopt the driverless technology to their transportation system. 

The startup will use a combination of algorithmic software to operate its taxis across the country. The cars will also adopt a technology called LIDAR to detect cars and objects on the road while operating.

One of nuTonomy's co-founder, Emilio Frazzoli, is a professor of aeronautical and astronautical engineering at MIT and has worked with the U.S. military drone management systems. His familiarity with the algorithmic software that could help employ fleet management contributed to the company's progress in developing the technology needed.

NuTonomy's CEO and co-founder, Karl Iagnemma, also shared the company's vision to deliver the world's smartest autonomous vehicle supported with the best software. "By applying advanced techniques from the aerospace industry, we're creating a self-driving car that is safe, confident and drives in a truly 'human-like' manner," he added.

As for now, the company is working to secure approval for the pilot program to achieve the goal, as reported by Fortune. The company hopes to make car-sharing more convenient, even as convenient as having a private care, plus the accessibility and cost of public transit. The company's autonomous vehicle have passed its first obstacle course test in Singapore and is seeking to advance to the next level.

In addition to working on their ambitions for fully autonomous taxis, nuTonomy is also developing self-driving software for other automakers such as Jaguar and Land Rover. The company seeks to be the software provider for the driverless technology, as noted by IEEE Spectrum.

The autonomous taxis will work similarly with current ride-hailing services, from which users can order from their smartphone. The car will be able to process orders and choose the best route possible to reach the destination.

A startup in Singapore is working towards bringing fully autonomous taxis to the street, making ride-sharing more convenient and accessible for users. As for now, the company is developing its technologies and seeking approval to achieve the ambition. 

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