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Self-Driving Startup Nutonomy Starts Road Tests in Boston

November 21, 2016

Photo courtesy of Nutonomy
Photo courtesy of Nutonomy

Self-driving taxi startup Nutonomy is expanding its autonomous vehicle trials to roads in the U.S. after it agreed to a partnership with the city of Boston and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, according to a report by Tech Crunch.

Nutonomy was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology but it initially started testing its “robo” taxi service in Singapore in August. Nutonomy’s relationship with the Singaporean government has been important to help it get its start in Singapore — where it aims to launch a commercial service to the public by 2018, says the report.

Nutonomy plans to start testing its autonomous vehicles at Boston’s Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park before the end of the year. It will use its self-driving Renault Zoe electric vehicle, which includes its software system and engineers on-board to observe and take the wheel if necessary, according to the report.

The cars won’t be tasked with collecting passengers — unlike Uber’s autonomous vehicles. At this point, Nutonomy is still not certain if it will form a partnership with ride-hailing Lyft in order to pick up passengers in the U.S. Currently, Nutomony is working with Grab, a ride-sharing company in Southeast Asia, in Singapore, says the report.

“Boston is ready to lead the charge on self-driving vehicles, and I am committed to ensuring autonomous vehicles will benefit Boston’s residents,” Martin Walsh, Boston’s city mayor, told Tech Crunch. “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.”

Click here for the full Tech Crunch report.

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