Although Uber is in the process of rolling out their autonomous Volvo XC90 SUVs for test drives, a Singapore company called nuTonomy has claimed to be the first to bring out self-driving taxi's to the public for picking up passengers.
On Thursday, many people using their smartphones were able to hail an autonomous taxi and get a free ride. The release of autonomous taxi by nuTonomy edges out Ubers plans to test their taxi's in Pittsburgh by a narrow margin. Currently this is not a big service as only 6 cars are on the road but they plan to have 12 by the end of the year. The end goal for the autonomous vehicle software startup company is to have a fleet of self-driving taxi's in Singapore by 2018.
For now the pick-up and drop-off locations are limited to specified locations and only travel up to about 2.5-square-miles. Soon more pick-up and drop-off locations will be added. The vehicles being used are modified Renault Zoe and Mitsubishi i-MiEV electrics. A driver is in place to take control of the steering when need be but is mainly watching the computer to make sure everything is going smoothly.
All the news about self-driving taxi's certainly shows how powerful autonomous driving has become and how it may come to shape our future in the automotive world.