Uber is like a kind of miracle Taxi Service, but is another company attempting to steal its thrown? Nu-Tommy, a three-year-old, autonomous vehicle tech firm, recently kicked off public trials of its self-driving Taxis in Singapore.
Several residents throughout Singapore will score a chance to try out this service, by booking a free ride using Nu-Tommy’s mobile application, which works similarly to Uber’s. Customers will be driven to their desired destinations in a Renault Zoe or Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car which has been modified to accomplish autonomous driving. For safety measures, engineers from the company will accompany passengers during the public test rides so as to observe the vehicles performance, or take the wheel if any default occurs.
Using the public test rides, Nutonomy will collect information to improve the software and service for greater widespread commercial usage set to begin in Singapore during 2018. Will this major step by Nutonomy grow its impact in the Taxi service industry?
Uber isn’t too far behind however; as they’ll soon begin to perform trails for their own self driving vehicles. With the competition a step ahead, Uber snapped up a self-driving tech startup called Otto in rare acquisition that could be worth as much as $600 million, to desperately try to catch up with Nutonomy.
While most of this is essentially under construction, these self-driving taxis are guaranteed to become part of several passengers’ lives in the next 2 to 3 years, probably a little longer for those in Kenya. However, when the “robo” taxi service is finally introduced into our country, through Uber or Nutonomy, how will Kenyans deal with it? I personally prefer not engaging in small talk with the driver; blame it on my introverted nature, so that would solve my issue, granted the thought of no driver is a little unusual. All jokes aside however, what would be the public’s reaction? The arrival of Uber wasn’t received well by local Taxi operates, so I doubt a cab service with no drivers would be welcomed with open arms either, and it won’t exactly help current Employment issues. More importantly, will the autonomous taxis be capable of hacking our carelessly and recklessly driven on roads? Only time will tell.