For two weeks in November, in collaboration with the City of Boston and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, nuTonomy started Boston’s first autonomous vehicle passenger pilot in the Seaport district. During the pilot, nuTonomy friends and family were ableto hail a self-driving vehicle using nuTonomy’s booking app, then experience a round-trip autonomous ride from nuTonomy’s offices to Boston’s South Station and back.
The company views driverless vehicles as part of a robust urban mobility ecosystem that is inclusive of all types of road users – including human-driven cars, autonomous vehicles, bikes, taxis, and pedestrians. Through on-road and simulation testing, nuTonomy tests, learns from, and refine technology so that it can operate safely and efficiently as part of this ecosystem. Until recently in the US, only nuTonomy’s engineers were able to ride in the Boston-based fleet.
However, the company claims it’s only through public passenger pilots that they can gain objective feedback related to the experience of hailing and riding in an autonomous vehicle. These pilots let members of the public experience driverless vehicles first-hand so that they can form their own judgments about the technology.
The company stated it is pleased to be the only company to autonomously carry members of the public on two continents, in two dynamic, world-class cities – Singapore and Boston.
This highlights the ability to adapt nuTonomy software to distinct driving conditions, including driving on both the left (Singapore) and right (US) sides of the road and driving in cities with widely varied signage, road markings, weather, and traffic conditions. Such adaptability is a critical enabler for scaling autonomous driving globally. Second, the company is proud to highlight Boston as an innovation hub. Like Singapore, Boston has been a tremendously collaborative partner that has proven its willingness to work hand-in-hand with industry to enable testing and development of new technology.
On November 21, Delphi Automotive, now named Aptive closed acquisition of nuTonomy. By combining efforts in Boston, Singapore, and other pilot cities around the world, Aptiv will have 60 autonomous cars on the road across three continents by year-end, with the goal to further accelerate global fleet expansion and technology development.