Daily Management Review

Driverless Car Firm Partner Uber Rival Grab in Singapore


09/22/2016




Driverless Car Firm Partner Uber Rival Grab in Singapore
It has been just days that Uber debuted its self-driving vehicles in the United States, its close rival ride-hailing firm Grab has set up a partnership with a start-up testing the technology in Singapore and its users will be able to book driverless cars from Friday.
 
Driverless cars and self driving is expected to be a long-term makeover of personal transportation and technology companies and automakers race to build autonomous vehicles and develop new business plans to take business advantage of this emerging sector. The move by ride-hailing firm Grab comes while the auto market shifts its focus to driverless cars.
 
A western Singapore district and adjacent neighborhoods are the places in Singapore where this facility would be available right now since the tech startup that Grab has partnered with is testing the vehicles there. However Southeast Asia's Grab said its app will only allow select commuters to book and ride start-up nuTonomy's driverless vehicles within the specified areas.
 
The two companies said in a statement that to ensure that no accident, as happened with Tesla automatic cars, a safety driver and support engineer will ride in each nuTonomy car.
 
nuTonomy has said it hopes to have 100 taxis working commercially in the city-state by 2018 as the company had started a limited public trial of the first driverless taxi in August in Singapore.
 
Singapore, with its limited land and workforce, is hoping driverless vehicles will encourage its residents to use more shared vehicles and public transport even as countries around the world are encouraging the development of autonomous technologies.
 
The need for "robo-cars" that can meet transportation needs in far-flung areas was highlighted by Grab which said that its data showed drivers in Singapore are less likely to accept a passenger booking request originating from or destined for remote locations.
 
The safety driver will take control of the vehicle for that portion of the trip if a trip requires travel on roads outside of Singapore's one-north district.
 
The companies said that the public trial may be extended by the companies for as long as it continues to yield valuable feedback and data even though it has been planned to run for the next two months.
 
"There is no direct monetary funding (in nuTonomy). At this point, the partnership is focused on Singapore – though there may be other potential synergies between nuTonomy and Grab that we could decide to explore in the future," a Grab representative said.
 
Grab just raised $750 million in a funding round that gives it more ammunition to take on the U.S. firm in southeast Asia and the partnership ups the ante in the competition between Uber and Grab.
 
Last month, Uber formed a $300 million alliance with Volvo Car Group to develop self-driving cars and bought self-driving trucks startup Otto. Marking the public unveiling of its secretive work in autonomous vehicle, it launched its self-driving pilot program this month.
 
(Source:www.reuetrs.com) 






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