Technology

Singapore: First Autonomous Robo-Taxis

A small start up to be really the first company in the world, bringing self-propelled taxis in regular traffic with real clients. However also renowned researchers and strong investors are behind “Nutonomy”.

A district in Singapore: office towers, wide streets, clear intersections, very brave motorists and pedestrians who follow all the rules. Around the one-North Metro stop happens only very rarely something quite suddenly and unexpectedly. Ideal conditions to test autonomous vehicles.

First Autonomous Robo-Taxis

The originating from the United States company Nutonomy has now launched this attempt with so-called Robo-Taxis. Singaporeans can apply for the ride accompanied by a human found and if one is to believe the videos of the company, then they are all crazy on it. More than enthusiastic people not the PR films but also show. Why is the small start up of the first company that sends autonomous taxis on the road?

Nutonomy has developed its own software

Nutonomy speaks of particularly sensitive sensors and cameras, as well as a highly developed own software that allows this. The company has equipped some small electric cars from Mitsubishi and Renault with the appropriate technology. In the next two years should be able in the real traffic now more evidence is collected to bring then very soon a whole taxi fleet on the road and can then of course even without driver who still if necessary intervene in the test phase.

Nutonomy Singapore
Photo: Nutonomy

Thus the crucial question at the Nutonomy taxis is the same as with all tests with autonomous vehicles: how reliable? Reliable enough to be let go?

The developers at Nutonomy is not mean details these and other technical questions. The company two Faculty of the renowned Massachusetts behind Institute of technology, who apparently gathered a number of former students to. While Emilio Frazzoli most with trades as a specialist in aviation and aerospace technology, Karl Iagnemma is an expert for robotics.

CEO is also a romantic story teller

That Iagnemma in the United States is also known as a writer of romantic short stories, in which robots play a role, irritated probably only Europeans, attach the old ideas of the Habitus of a scholar. Iagnemma anyway, heads most with the robotic mobility group, which tracks interesting approaches in research on autonomous driving.

Nutonomy Robot-Taxi
Photo: Nutonomy

One of them is attempting to build automatic navigation based on the model of the human brain. Because man, so the basic thesis, not first looks a certain way, but a kind of security zone, in which he can move himself in traffic. Such a zone could be the basis of autonomous vehicles.

Ford is working on autonomous taxi

Know-how is so present in the background, and money for development has Nutonomy also: with lenders, the company recently completed a $16 million contract. Two years should now run the tests in Singapore. More attempts are made in Europe and the United States, the company says.

Foto: Ford
Foto: Ford

We’ll see who wins because race, because also the big car makers have discovered by now the subject of autonomous taxis. As Ford announced recently, to send driverless car on the road in five years. And not test wise, but in series.

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