(June 1): Pilot plans to test driverless cars on city streets have so far been little more than vanity research projects. But one tiny country has put the whole autonomous vehicle industry on a track to make money in real life.

Automakers, tech firms and new entrants the world over have spent the past few weeks racing to meet Thursday’s deadline for a so-called Request for Information that Singapore announced back in November. The city state plans to operate fleets of autonomous vehicles in three districts starting in 2022. The responses will inform a formal Request for Proposals to win the contracts to offer scheduled services, such as autonomous buses, and on-demand ride-hailing cars to the general public. The timing for the decisions hasn’t been revealed.

This is the first time that companies have a path to pitching for a commercial venture in a major global city. To actually win a contract, they're going to have to do more than show they have the latest safety features. They're going to have to present an entire business plan.

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