Singapore: European automobile manufacturing group Groupe PSA will form an alliance with Singapore-based self-driving car startup NuTonomy, to test autonomous SUVs in the Southeast Asian country. Groupe PSA, who owns brands like Peugeot SA and Citroën, acquired General Motors’ Opel and Vauxhall brands for $1.4 billion last month.
The partnership is being seen as the entry of a major player in the autonomous car industry.
NuTonomy, which is a spinoff of MIT, has been testing its self-driving cars in Singapore since last year, and more recently began deploying its vehicles on public roads in Boston. In August 2016, the startup launched the world’s first self-driving taxi experiment, beating Uber to the punch by a few weeks.
The strategic partnership between the two companies will work as NuTonomy will integrate its self-driving software and technology into customized Peugeot 3008 SUVs. According to NuTonomy, it will complete the integration by the end of the summer, and the on-road testing will begin by September 2017.
“This collaboration is a significant step towards fully autonomous vehicles, which will enable us to offer different mobility solutions to our customers,” said Anne Laliron, head of Groupe PSA’s Business Lab, in a statement.
Karl lagnemma, CEO and co-founder of NuTonomy, added that the partnership with PSA will bring his firm closer to their goal of “deploying a safe, efficient, fully autonomous mobility-on-demand transportation service for urban driving environments.”