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The Self-Driving Taxi That Beat Uber to the Streets

Uber will be testing out self-driving cabs on U.S. streets later this month, but autonomous so-called robo-taxis from MIT-spawned startup nuTonomy have hit the road even faster, at least in Singapore.

NuTonomy, which developed the software used in its self-driving cars, launched a public trial of self-driving Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Renault Zoe taxis on Thursday, for select Singapore residents, according to a company press release.

During the Singapore test program, a nuTonomy engineer will ride along in the car to take notes on the car's performance and take control of the vehicle if necessary, the company says.

Earlier this month, the Singapore Land Transport Authority chose the company as its partner in automonous vehicle research and development and has received $16 million in funding from investors, including the Singapore Economic Development Board and Samsung Ventures.

NuTonomy hopes to deploy a full fleet of autonomous vehicles in Singapore in 2018.

Last week, Uber and Volvo announced plans to bring self-driving Volvo taxis to Pittsburgh streets.

Along with NuTonomy and Uber, more than 30 automotive and technology companies are developing their own autonomous vehicles, according to research from CB Insights.

Althea Chang is Associate Director of Content Development for Consumer Reports and was previously a Senior Writer for Tom's Guide, covering mobile devices, health and fitness gadgets and car tech.