The Singapore public transport system is about to get a massive technological makeover.
Startup nuTonomy, a company birthed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is set to unleash a fleet of self-driving taxis in the city within the year.
The US-based company is currently working with the Singapore government to introduce driverless electric cabs as a means of public transportation inside the city’s One North business district, reported MIT News.
The cars, which according to the company are going to be relatively cheap, are designed to determine the best routes for getting passengers where they want to be. NuTonomy also promises cars with lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
They are aiming to deploy thousands of these modern taxis in the next few years.
“This could make car-sharing something that is almost as convenient as having your own private car, but with the accessibility and cost of public transit,” nuTonomy CTO Emilio Frazzoli said.
The cars have now passed their initial driving tests involving a custom obstacle course navigation.
Founded in 2013, nuTonomy was initially an autonomous car consulting service but changed its focus last year into producing self-driving taxis instead.
The company has so far raised $3.6 million in funding since it was launched.
Frazzoli is confident that his team will gather more support once the project is launched later this year.
“As soon as people start seeing this is real and this is working, and this is the benefit it can provide to the public, then […] people will start seeing that this can provide a solution to the mobility problem in big urban centers,” he said.