There’s no shortage of startups looking to be among the first to develop safe and reliable self-driving systems to power fleets of potentially lucrative self-driving taxis.
Among them is America’s Voyage, which was formed by ex-engineers of Apple and Alphabet and on Thursday received $3 million in funding from Jaguar Land Rover. This brings the company’s funding to date to about $20 million.
Voyage has already deployed its self-driving cars in large retirement villages and is licensed to test them on Californian roads in 2018. The company is refining its technology and service with feedback from residents of the retirement villages, located in San Jose, California and Orlando, Florida.
Jaguar Land Rover is also developing its own self-driving technology. The British automaker last November started testing self-driving cars with Level 4 capability on public roads in the United Kingdom. Level 4 means the vehicles can operate on their own but only in select conditions.
The news comes just as General Motors unveiled a self-driving car devoid of a steering wheel and pedals. GM says the cars will be providing lifts on public roads as early as 2019. Waymo (previously the Google Self-Driving Car Project) is thought to be months from offering a self-driving car service, though its cars still feature conventional controls. The same is true for nuTonomy, which has self-driving cars offering rides on a few streets in Boston and Singapore.