Delphi's announcement last week that it will acquire software startup NuTonomy will give the U.S. supplier three advantages in the race to deploy self-driving vehicles.
1. NuTonomy's 70 engineers and scientists will nearly double the size of Delphi's r&d team devoted to autonomous driving.
2.The Boston company's robo-taxi fleets in Singapore and Boston will help Delphi accelerate its own road tests.
3. NuTonomy and Lyft are developing vehicle-to-passenger information systems for autonomous vehicles. That relationship will give Delphi access to the fast-growing ride-hailing market.
In 2016, NuTonomy launched its robo-taxi service in Singapore. That service now employs a fleet of 20 Renault Zoe electric superminis plus two Peugeot 3008 crossovers.
In Boston, city officials last week approved NuTonomy's request to allow a smaller fleet of Zoe taxis to transport passengers. The Boston test will give NuTonomy a chance to test its taxis in winter.
As it happens, Delphi has announced plans to deploy small fleets of robo-taxis in Singapore and Paris, and it has hinted at plans for a third fleet in Pittsburgh or Boston.
When the acquisition is complete, Delphi says it will have 60 autonomous vehicles in the U.S., Europe and Asia.