Singapore becomes first to try out public self-driving taxis

Singapore - A small group of residents in Singapore can now hail self-driving taxis with their smartphones, in the world’s first public trial of autonomous driving technology.

While billed as a pioneering trial, the service covers a relatively small area and its riders will be handpicked.

Invited members of the public can summon a car from a fleet of six reconfigured Renault Zoes and Mitsubishi i-MiEVs to ferry them within a 200-hectare research and high-tech business park.

An engineer from the company will ride in vehicles to monitor performance and take the wheel if required, according to a release from Singapore-based startup nuTonomy.

NuTonomy runs one of several autonomous driving projects in the island nation, which is promoting the technology as part of efforts to reduce a reliance on privately owned cars.

Public transit operator SMRT Corp. set up a joint venture in April with a Netherlands-based company to operate “ driverless pods.”

A center for testing and research of autonomous vehicles was set up this month by the land transport authority and one of its universities.

Self-driving taxis came into focus after Uber Technologies Inc. said it will soon allow customers in downtown Pittsburgh to summon autonomous cars with their phones.

Like nuTonomy’s trial, that fleet of specially modified Volvo XC90 SUVs will be supervised by humans in the driver’s seat.

ZAR/USD
17.54
(+0.10)
ZAR/GBP
22.98
(+0.04)
ZAR/EUR
20.66
(-0.01)
ZAR/AUD
12.59
(+0.05)
ZAR/JPY
0.17
(-0.04)
Gold
2034.54
(+0.03)
Silver
28.27
(+0.11)
Platinum
961.50
(+0.38)
Brent Crude
44.55
(-1.53)
Palladium
2166.01
(+0.63)
All Share
56757.73
(-1.56)
Top 40
52435.65
(-1.72)
Financial 15
9897.96
(+0.10)
Industrial 25
74671.49
(-1.98)
Resource 10
58948.78
(-1.89)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Do you think it was a good idea for the government to approach the IMF for a $4.3 billion loan to fight Covid-19?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes. We need the money.
11% - 937 votes
It depends on how the funds are used.
74% - 6260 votes
No. We should have gotten the loan elsewhere.
15% - 1286 votes
Vote