As autonomous driving creeps closer, cities are working frantically to find the best ways to integrate the technology into their existing transport networks. Delphi and Singapore’s Land Transport Authority have joined the likes of Greenwich and Beverly Hills in developing an on-demand autonomous self-driving system to carry commuters the "last mile" home.
Rather than working on consumer driverless cars, Delphi and Singapore are teaming up to handle the last leg of commuters’ journeys. Although driving is more convenient than walking or taking the bus, it also creates lots of local congestion and pollution, not to mention the amount of valuable space wasted in the name of creating carparks and garages.
Autonomous "last-mile" vehicles offer a potential solution to the problem. Instead of getting off the train and hopping in their own cars, commuters would simply summon a car to drop them home. Once the trip is done, the self-driving taxi can head back to the station and pick someone else up rather than sitting idle in a driveway overnight – like Uber, but without the awkward interaction between driver and passenger.
Users will access with the system through a "cloud-based mobility-on-demand" software, which Delphi is supplying alongside the fleet of development cars. The program will initially be tested in a business park on Singapore’s west side, but there are plans to conduct similar tests at cities in Europe and the USA.
Those tests aren’t limited to cars or self-driving pods, either, because Delphi says its system is "vehicle agnostic," meaning it could be used on buses, trucks and specially designed mobility pods.
Singapore and Delphi are hoping to have the system fully up and running for consumers by 2022.
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