nuTonomy announced on Monday that it would expand its self-driving tests to Boston, Massachusetts, after trialing the platform in Singapore for the past year.
The startup, which originated as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) spinoff, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Boston and Massachusetts Department of Transportation to test its self-driving fleet on public roads in the city.
“Boston and Massachusetts are leaders in rethinking the future of transportation, and we are grateful for their partnership and support of nuTonomy’s efforts to develop a fleet of self-driving cars to serve the public,” said the firm’s CEO and co-founder, Karl Iagnemma.
nuTonomy plans to learn the local signage and road markings, while also teaching the platform how to be more considerate of pedestrians, cyclists, and to better understand driver behavior.
Iagnemma added: “These tests in the City of Boston will enable our engineers to adapt our autonomous vehicle software to the weather and traffic challenges of this unique driving environment. Testing our self-driving cars so near to nuTonomy’s home is the next step towards our ultimate goal: deployment of a safe, efficient, fully autonomous mobility-on-demand transportation service.”
nuTonomy still has humans at the wheel
For now, nuTonomy will keep a driver inside the car at all times. The startup intends to expand its Boston fleet over the year and will “evaluate the performance of its software system throughout the testing stage.”
nuTonomy has not said if it plans to bring its shuttle service, currently being tested in Singapore’s one-north district, to Boston. We assume, in time, it will arrive in the state, especially if nuTonomy wants a chance at competing with Uber and Lyft.