Autonomous vehicles seem to be the trend within the last decade. But the competition is about to get tougher as a new startup is set to test its self-driving cars in the United States. NuTonomy boasts of new autonomous self-driving software that is about to take the US by storm or more specifically, in Boston.
The company recently announced that it had already signed an agreement with Boston officials to test its new self-driving car on the city's streets. NuTonomy used to test its vehicles on the streets of Singapore.
A Renault Zoe electric vehicle ran by nuTonomy's self-driving software will hit the Boston streets late this year. The test drive is expected to take place in the public streets; however, the car will be separated from other vehicles and most especially, pedestrians.
This is similar to how nuTonomy conducted its test drives in Singapore where the Land Transport Authority isolated a 1.5 square mile section of North 1 in the country, for the sole purpose of testing self-driving cars. So don't be surprised if, all of a sudden, the number of nuTonomy vehicles in Boston increases.
"Boston is ready to lead the charge on self-driving vehicles, and I am committed to ensuring autonomous vehicles will benefit Boston's residents," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement. "This is an exciting step forward, and together with our public and private partners, we will continue to lead the way in creating a safe, reliable and equitable mobility plan for Boston's residents," Walsh added.
The mayor also emphasized the city's intent to host the testing of what could be perceived as the future of transportation systems. Also, Boston was chosen as a test venue for the self-driving cars because it was apparently started in MIT back in 2013. However, all testing occurred overseas.
"These tests in the city of Boston will enable our engineers to adapt our autonomous vehicle software to the weather and traffic challenges of this unique driving environment," Karl Iagnemma, nuTonomy CEO said in a statement.
The company is eyeing a full-service fleet in Singapore by 2018, but no plans were mentioned for a nuTonomy fleet in Boston or any parts of the U.S. --- except that test drives will finally be conducted in the country.