If the number of trials for self-driving vehicles in Singapore is anything to go by, the future of driving in the Republic is, it seems, driverless.
Recent years have also seen the nation warmly embrace electric vehicles (EVs), with plans to phase out all vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2040. These twin trends find themselves combined in ride-hailing, which straddles both public and private transport.
Currently, Singapore’s ride-hailing market is dominated by tech unicorns Grab and Gojek – the former having launched in 2013, and the latter entering the market in 2018. However, a new and powerful challenger may soon join the fray: Tesla.
The US automaker presents a double threat: it is both a major player in the EV market, and has ride-hailing ambitions, which will see it leverage its autonomous vehicle technology and privately-owned Teslas to create robotaxi networks in some markets as soon as this year.
To be clear, Tesla cars are not yet able to drive fully autonomously, as the company is still in the process of refining its self-driving AI. Drivers must pay to access the self-driving feature, and are still required to remain behind the wheel while the tech is in use.
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