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Singapore Debuts The World's First Self-Driving Taxi Service


Sorry Uber, but MIT spinout nuTonomy just beat you in the self-driving taxi race. The ride-hailing leader announced that it would include self-driving cars in its Pittsburgh fleet as soon as this month.

To the surprise of many, nuTonomy became the first company to make driverless cars available to the general public, even coming in ahead of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG)’s Google, which is often considered the top player in the autonomous driving space, and Chinese giant Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ: BIDU).

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So far, the vehicles, a Renault (OTC: RNSDF) Zoe and a Mitsubishi (OTC: MSBHY) i-MiEV, are being tested in a small, campus-like business district in Singapore. Before the cars are allowed outside this area, they will have to meet several government milestones during the trial phase. Over this period, the cars will still have a computer engineer and backup human chauffeur.

In addition, the company is testing the vehicles privately in London and Michigan, with the support of Jaguar Land Rover.

CEO Doug Parker said nuTonomy is aiming at launching its autonomous taxi service country-wide as soon as 2018.


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