Nutonomy self-driving car collides with lorry in Singapore
A self-driving car has collided with a lorry in Singapore according to the city-state’s transport regulator although no one was hurt in the incident.
“The test vehicle was changing lane when it collided with a lorry,” the Land Transport Authority said in a Facebook post.
The vehicle was operated by start-up company Nutonomy which launched the world’s first self-driving taxi service in Singapore in August.
Nutonomy said the car was operating with two engineers on-board and travelling slowly.
Countries around the world are encouraging the development of autonomous technologies, and Singapore, with its limited land and workforce, is hoping driverless vehicles will encourage its residents to use more shared vehicles and public transport.
Singapore’s testing of the technology is being closely watched as tech firms and automakers race to build self-drive cars and develop new business plans for what is expected to be a long-term makeover of personal transport.
Four different groups are testing driverless cars in a western Singapore district. The test routes open to participants was doubled to 12 km (7.4 miles) last month.
In September, ride-hailing firm Grab partnered with Nutonomy to allow some users to book driverless cars via its app.
But crashes such as these have a detrimental impact on public and government opinion of the technology.
An incident involving a Tesla Model S car, which crashed into a truck in May steered by Autopilot, was described as being a major setback for autonomous vehicles.
In its defence, Tesla stressed that the Autopilot feature is still in its testing phase and is a limited form of driverless technology that should not be used without constant driver supervision.
Despite this, one of Tesla’s partners Mobileye, which develops collision avoidance systems, later split from the company citing its lack of concern for driver safety.
This week, German authorities asked Tesla to drop its ‘Autopilot’ brand name saying the name was misleading to customers given its limited capabilities.