Singapore has become the first country to place an order for a fleet of self-driving taxis, which go into limited public trial. nuTonomy’s taxis were created by a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who have been testing the cars since April, and the team is set for their largest experiment ever in Singapore. Select city residents will get to ride the “robo-taxis” for free using the company’s app.
The cars will not be completely self-driven though. In case of an emergency an engineer can take over driving. Depending on how well the tests go, the taxi service could launch public service in 2018.
“This is really a moment in history that’s going to change how cities are built, how we really look at our surroundings,” said nuTonomy executive Doug Parker in an interview with Reuters.