World’s first self-driving cars- hits the roads of Singapore
We are in the era of driverless cars. The test drive was conducted by nuTonomy in Singapore. Hence Singapore became the first country in the world to launch the driverless cars. The dream of nuTonomy was to launch the world’s first self-driving cars. And their dream became reality now. People of Singapore are lucky, because they are the ones who are going to get a ride in self-driving cars for the first time. The trial raids are offered for the free of cost for the first time.
NuTonomy is a tech company, which develops Lisri the software for the various purposes. And its headquarters are in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company will collect the data regarding the vehicle booking and other information related to vehicles. The trained engineer of the company felt that, there are huge responses to the self-driving cars from the public. So the company has decided to produce the self-driving cars first in the industry. The company is planning to release the complete commercial side of the self-driving cars by 2018. The company ran its test drive to about 2.5 square miles in Singapore.
NuTonomy launched the self-driving cars before Uber. Uber launched the self-driving cars in Pittsburgh; nuTonomy launched the self-driving cars just a few days before Uber. It was surprising for the industry also. Many people thought that, Uber will launch the first self-driving car Link in the world. It was just amazing to hear that the small startup nuTonomy has achieved the massive milestone. The company had only 50 members in the team, because of their great minds, this was possible.
How is it possible?
Everyone will be wondering, how is it possible for the very small startup. For this, the company answers as, the number of people in the team doesn’t matter, what each member can make matters. That was really the true fact. The founders of the nuTonomy were the former researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Both have experience in robotics, this experience helped them to analyze what is good and what is bad. The CEO of nuTonomy, Mr. Karl Lagnemma, said that, they planned to hire the most talented and the right people for the job. Being the small startup, all the employees of the company know the nook and corner of the technology that are used in the process. Selecting the talented and the right people for the job is really a challenging task. With the help of some groups, who conduct interviews for the companies, this was possible. And the right people were hired.
This company differs from many automobile manufacturing companies; nuTonomy knows the technology very well. And it knows that the self-driving cars are not produced from the traditional automobile manufacturing techniques, whereas, it uses the robotics technology. Since the founders of this company have the experience in the robotics field, this is quite well known for them and the obstacles or the failures in some parts of manufacturing can be rectified easily.
Why Singapore for test drive?
The main reason for choosing Singapore in the test drive is, the Singapore government showed more interest in the automated vehicles, Said Bryant Walker Smith, who is the expert in the legal matters of self-driving vehicles. Singapore has also invested in the new technologies also. NuTonomy has signed an agreement with the Singapore government to them in the designs, and it became the design partner of Singapore as well. From this it was clear that, the company has planned to run their test drive on the roads of Singapore, and the Singapore government also permitted for it. The laws against the traffic rules, people’s mindset to obey the traffic rules, the roads of Singapore and the technology, these are the ultimate reasons for selecting Singapore as the test drive location. Whereas, in the US and in the Europe the regulatory environment is not up to the mark.
When coming to the driving, the people of Singapore drive very well and obey the traffic and road rules, which is really easy for the manufactures to make adjustments in the code. If the road safety is challenging, then the manufactures have to think about many factors while they are coding. In the beginning stage, it is comfortable to start with an easy one. The main advantage while driving in Singapore is that, the roads will support the driver to the best way possible.
Stages of implementation
At the beginning stage, there will be a driver inside the self-driving car, he will not drive the car, he is there to support and operate in case of any emergency or the car has lost its control. The car will have the sensors, cameras, Global Positioning System (GPS) and other tracking devices, in order to sense the location and places. The driver will have the laptop, if the control room has found any misbehavior with the car; it will be notified to the driver’s laptop. Self- driving technology will definitely impact the driver community. There are many young drivers in Singapore. This self-driving technology has several advantages. The drawback is it will affect the drivers.
The company will try to take the driver out from the car, when they have more confidence that the self-driving car will not harm any person or property. They are working on that. The success is valued only if they take the driver out from the car, says the CEO of the company. This makes the people feel the value of cost reduction. The cost of rides in the self-driving car is cheaper than the normal car.
The obstacle for this self-driving technology is the acceptance from the public. People will not accept it easily. They will fear for the accidents. It will be useful, if you collect the honest feedback from the people who have experienced a ride in the self-driving car. And the people who have experience in technology can predict the outcomes. This process of gathering the information will continue till they get the maximum positive feedbacks.
The company is testing the vehicles in the UK. And it will not reveal the next testing location, as it is searching for the right location. Singapore is the best place for launching the self-driving cars. The company is searching for the next comfortable location. The company is gathering data from the test drive, and work further to develop the self-driving cars as an accident free technology. For the test drive which happened in Singapore, the company allowed the residents of Singapore to book the ride through the nuTonomy app, so that they can make the app to reach the people of Singapore.
People inside the car will have a tablet or a laptop to know the details like, in which route the car is travelling, how it responds to the sensors, how well it changes according to the controller’s instructions and many more safety related issues. Whereas on the other hand, the engineer can also monitor the self-driver car, he can watch whether the car responds to the signals in the traffic, by checking whether the car stops for the red light and start moving in the green light, if it does not follow these conditions which was already programmed, then the engineer in the car can operate it, in order to avoid accidents.