Free self-driving taxis launched in Singapore

Hailing a driverless ride in Singapore is now a reality, as a fleet of self-driving "robo-taxis" were Friday allowed out onto public roads in the island nation for the first time.

For the two-month trial, six driverless cars, programmed by software company nuTonomy, will be in action in and adjacent to a 200-hectare business park in the neighbourhood of Buona Vista.

The company had previously carried out a smaller trial but only for handpicked users and only within the confines of the park.

Two engineers will travel with each car to ensure safety during the trial, a company spokesman confirmed at a press conference Friday.

Passengers can book the cars in advance for free using a local ride-hailing app, known as Grab.

Grab CEO Anthony Tan said that the move would help supplement "underserved areas of Singapore" with an "innovative driverless commuting option."

The move comes just over a week after US company Uber started a trial of self-driving cars for travellers in Pittsburgh in the US.

Last update: Fri, 23/09/2016 - 09:32

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