Delphi joins crowded autonomous taxi run in Singapore

Joining self-driving startup nuTonomy’s Singaporean efforts, automotive supplier Delphi announced on Sunday that is has been awarded a contract by Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) to create an experimental pilot program for an autonomous taxi service.

The program provides three routes for people to choose, all located in a Queenstown subzone called one-North. Delphi will outfit six Audi SQ5 cars with the autonomous tech to drive people.

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All cars will have a safety driver that can take over control of the car. Delphi expects by 2019 the safety driver will no longer be necessary, and by 2022 it wants the program to be fully operational.

It will also pick the people that drive in the autonomous vehicles to start, though the company does want the opportunity to drive everyday commuters in the near future.

Delphi believes the pilot program will provide the company with lots of data on the autonomous vehicle system, and hopefully improve the view people in Singapore have of self-driving cars.

Even though Singapore is the first, Delphi has reportedly in discussions with other cities in Europe and North America. It makes note of this in the announcement video (below). San Francisco and London are two possible locations, both have lower regulations than most cities for self-driving vehicles.

Delphi is not the first company to test autonomous vehicles in Singapore, in fact, it is a few months behind MIT spinoff nuTonomy. The startup arrived in Singapore in early 2016, in one-North where Delphi are starting to test cars, but recently signed an agreement with the LTA to expand its autonomous taxi pilot program.

Surprisingly, Google, Tesla, and Uber have not made large investments into Singapore. That’s despite the country’s rather relaxed regulations on self-driving and tech-focused government.

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