'Select' Boston Lyft passengers to get rides in self-driving cars today

Autonomous cars developed by the US tech firm nuTonomy such as one seen here in Singapore in 2016 will be hitting the streets of Boston as the ridesharing group Lyft deploys self-driving vehicles

Autonomous cars developed by the US tech firm nuTonomy such as one seen here in Singapore in 2016 will be hitting the streets of Boston as the ridesharing group Lyft deploys self-driving vehicles

The former Google auto unit has been testing autonomous cars for years, but with a driver behind the wheel to take over if needed.

A startup created by former engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, nuTonomy deployed a small number of vehicles for the world's first self-driving taxis past year in Singapore. All this is an effort to collect additional data on the city and how traffic behaves in it - information that's critical to create a self-driving vehicle network that is both effective and safe. Lyft and its Boston-based partner nuTonomy, which builds autonomous software, announced Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, that a pilot project has begun sending self-driving cars to pick up commuters in Boston's Seaport District, a burgeoning technology hub.

Uber and Lyft are racing against each other to get a head start in the autonomous driving technology space. The trial was forced out of California due to Uber not applying for the correct license, and relocated to Arizona.

Our partnership with Lyft has two goals.

"We want to let members of the public experience driverless vehicles firsthand, so they can better understand the impact this new technology will have on their lives", nuTonomy said in a blog post. Second, based on feedback from pilot participants, nuTonomy's engineers will adapt and improve our system, so that we can deliver an autonomous transportation experience that is extremely safe, efficient, and comfortable.

The company added: "We're excited to take another stride toward the future of urban mobility.we're assembling a robust autonomous vehicle ecosystem - one that will make safe and low-priced transportation available to individuals in cities worldwide".

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