NuTonomy, a startup that makes driverless vehicles, says it will start testing its self-driving cars on public streets in Boston by the end of the year.
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The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said this will be its first test on public roads in a U.S. city. It has previously conducted extensive testing in closed courses in the U.S. It also was the first company to start autonomous taxi service in Singapore, which began earlier this year.
NuTonomy will begin testing its self-driving Renault Zoe electric vehicle before the end of the year in the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park in the Seaport section of the city.
The company said it outfits its vehicles with a state-of-the art software system to enable safe operation without a driver.
The City of Boston plans to monitor the effects of autonomous vehicles and identify how they might further the safety, access, and sustainability goals of its broader transportation plan. Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said in a statement that the test is an "exciting step forward."
Numerous automobile companies have tested such vehicles on public roads in California and Nevada. Google has been testing for years in California and Uber is testing driverless cars in Pittsburgh, but this will be a first for Massachusetts.