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nuTonomy, Lyft offer self-driving taxi service in Boston neighborhood

Aaron Aupperlee
| Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, 11:39 a.m.
FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016, file photo a nuTonomy autonomous vehicle is driven during its test drive in Singapore. Lyft and its Boston-based partner nuTonomy, which builds autonomous software, announced Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, that a pilot project has begun sending self-driving cars to pick up commuters in Boston's Seaport District, a burgeoning technology hub. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016, file photo a nuTonomy autonomous vehicle is driven during its test drive in Singapore. Lyft and its Boston-based partner nuTonomy, which builds autonomous software, announced Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, that a pilot project has begun sending self-driving cars to pick up commuters in Boston's Seaport District, a burgeoning technology hub. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

Boston is the next American city to feature a self-driving taxi service.

NuTonomy, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology spinout company working on autonomous vehicles, announced this week that it launched a pilot program with Lyft to provide self-driving rides in Boston's Seaport neighborhood.

Boston now joins Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Phoenix and a handful of other cities where the public can take rides in autonomous vehicles. Waymo, the self-driving arm of Google's parent company Alphabet, started offering rides in autonomous minivans in November in Chandler, Ariz., near Phoenix. Uber is offering rides in Arizona and in Pittsburgh, the first U.S. city to get a public pilot of self-driving cars.

“We're excited to take another stride toward the future of urban mobility,” nuTonomy wrote in a blog post about the pilot program.

NuTonomy was acquired in October by Delphi for $450 million. Delphi, which spun off its automotive technology divisions including autonomous vehicles as a new company, Aptiv, on Tuesday, is developing self-driving car technology in Pittsburgh.

Aptiv will keep nuTonomy based in Boston.

NuTonony partnered with Lyft this year to give it access to the company's ride-sharing network. Lyft announced this year it was jumping into the self-driving car race and looking for companies to team up with it.

NuTonomy said it hopes people get the opportunity to experience self-driving technology first-hand through the pilot and give feedback on how to make the service better.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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