It seems that we are rapidly approaching a future where computers are taking over our jobs. Singapore has recently unveiled its first trial of autonomous taxis, offering to take customers to their desired locations. Select passengers will get to hail one for free, as part of the trial launch.
The so-called 'robo-taxis' are developed by nuTonomy, a Massachusetts-based transportation software company. The fleet of self-driving taxis started operating yesterday on a Singapore business district. The taxis are composed of specially configured Renault and Mitsubishi vehicles.
"The trial represents an extraordinary opportunity to collect feedback from riders in a real-world setting, and this feedback will give nuTonomy a unique advantage as we work toward deployment of a self-driving vehicle fleet in 2018," said Karl Iagnemma, CEO and co-founder of nuTonomy.
The chosen Singapore passengers will get to use the nuTonomy smartphone app to hail an autonomous taxi and ride for free. Once the ride is done, customers will take a survey answering questions regarding how the vehicle performed, and how the service can be improved overall.
Furthermore, each car will be accompanied by a safety engineer to control the vehicle whenever needed, and to assist customers. "There are occasionally still areas where something pops up in front of a car that you have never seen before," Iagnemma said. "That's [why] we have the safety driver," he told CNN Money.
This news comes just after Uber began to publicly test self-driving cars, as well as offer free rides to passengers. With these technological advancements approaching, we can undoubtedly say that the current methods of transportation could change very soon.
Source and Image: CNN Money