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nuTonomy and Grab partner to expand public trial of on-demand self-driving car service in Singapore

nuTonomy, a developer of software for self-driving cars, and Grab, a Southeast Asia ride-hailing app, are partnering to expand nuTonomy’s ongoing public trial of self-driving cars in Singapore. (Earlier post.) The trial will give select Grab users a chance to experience the full end-to-end experience of e-hailing and riding in a nuTonomy self-driving vehicle (SDV).

Combining nuTonomy’s SDV software and technology system with Grab’s proven fleet routing technology and mapping in its app will enable both companies to study the end-to-end user experience of on-demand hailing of SDVs.

In particular, the trial will be a valuable opportunity to conduct user experience research around how passengers book and interact with SDVs. The results will be used to enhance Grab's routing technology and mapping for SDVs, as well as improve the comfort, performance, and safety of nuTonomy’s SDVs.

Select Grab customers can now use the Grab app to book a ride in a nuTonomy SDV through a special “robo-car” fleet icon. All rides are free-of-charge and customers may travel within the one-north business district as well as to adjacent neighborhoods.

A nuTonomy safety driver and support engineer will ride in each nuTonomy SDV to observe system performance and ensure passenger comfort and safety. If a trip requires travel on roads outside of one-north, the safety driver will take control of the vehicle for that portion of the trip. The public trial will run for the next two months, and may be extended by the companies for as long as it continues to yield valuable feedback and data.

According to Grab’s traffic data, drivers in Singapore are less likely to accept a passenger booking request originating from or destined for remote locations. For example, in the more remote areas of Singapore like Jurong Island, Lim Chu Kang and Tuas, passengers are four times less likely to get a successful ride booking on their first try. These findings illustrate the transportation need in the nation’s underserved remote locations that robo-cars can help meet.


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