Signapore testing on-demand robot taxis

Delphi Automotive and NuTonomy will begin testing six phone-dispatched autonomous taxis in Singapore that will go point-to-point based on customer requests with a goal of providing no-driver-in-the-car service by 2019 and cars without steering wheels by 2022.
By Frank Tobe, The Robot Report August 21, 2016

Delphi Automotive, the global provider of vehicle electronics components, will begin testing six phone-dispatched autonomous taxis in Singapore that will go point-to-point based on customer requests with a goal of providing no-driver-in-the-car service by 2019 and cars without steering wheels by 2022. Delphi has a small autonomous fleet in Silicon Valley and last year demonstrated a coast-to-coast autonomous drive.

Glen DeVos, a Delphi senior vice president, at a briefing in Troy, Mich., said of the program: "We actually will have point-to-point automated mobility on demand with no driver in the car. It’s one of the first, if not the very first, pilot programs where we’ll demonstrate mobility-on-demand systems.

"Singapore is a small island and right now, for the individual to get to the mass-transit systems, it’s not easy. The city is really trying to lead the world in addressing urban congestion. Singapore’s Land Transport Authority chose Delphi for the test as the city looks to driverless vehicles to address growing gridlock. It asked Delphi to provide robot rides to get commuters to mass-transit stations so fewer cabs will be clogging the roads," Devos said.

DeVos also said that Delphi plans to announce similar pilot programs in the U.S. and Europe very soon. He also said that, if all goes as planned, the next phase will be deploying fully autonomous cars without steering wheels by 2022.

NuTonomy, a spinoff from MIT, also has plans to deploy "thousands" of fully self-driving taxis all over Singapore by 2019. The company is testing its vehicles in an area of Singapore’s business district called 1 North. NuTonomy will expand to a nearly four-mile radius as early as this summer.

Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report.Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report. After selling his business and retiring from 25-plus years in computer direct marketing and materials, consulting to the Democratic National Committee, as well as major presidential, senatorial, congressional, mayoral campaigns and initiatives all across the U.S., Canada and internationally, he has energetically pursued a new career in researching and investing in robotics. This article originally appeared on The Robot Report. The Robot Report is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, cvavra@cfemedia.com.

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