American startup NuTonomy, together with the ridesharing service Grab from South Asia, has announced the launch of a project for commercial use of driverless cars. The chief executive of NuTonomy Karl Iagnemma told Reuters that the unique taxi service would start working in Singapore in summer of 2018.
Trials have been conducted for more than a year, since summer 2016, when the first autonomous cars showed up in the streets of Singapore. Every car had an experienced driver for security purposes, ready to take over the control in case of any problems. Such test practice for driverless vehicles has proven to be efficient in the whole world.
Iagnemma also said that apart from the project in Singapore, NuTonomy actively worked with Lyft, getting ready to launch the first test driverless cars in Boston, and negotiated with a number of automobile corporate groups and car rental services.
Analysts highlight that car rental services will be the main buyers of autonomous cars after they are launched in the market. The reason lies in the prime cost of the first serial cars of such kind – it will be too high for mass consumption. However, manufacturers think that with the adoption of driverless cars throughout the world and growth in their popularity, the problem will be resolved.