NYC Allows Testing of Self-Driving Cabs, Cars

NYC Allows Testing of Self-Driving Cabs, Cars

Companies that build autonomous vehicles and wish to test them on city streets can now submit applications to New York City.

According to New York City, applicants will be “ready to test their technology in the country’s most challenging urban environment safely and proficiently” thanks to what it refers to as “a rigorous permitting program.”

State legislation stipulates that an experienced safety driver must remain seated behind the wheel of autonomous cars at all times. According to a letter from the Department of Transportation, businesses that wish to use autonomous cars on municipal roadways must submit safety plans, exchange data, and have frequent meetings with DOT representatives. Furthermore, applicants must arrange for the interaction between their autonomous cars and emergency vehicles with the police and fire agencies.

“This technology is coming whether we like it or not, so we’re going to make sure that we get it right,” Mayor Eric Adams wrote in a statement.

According to a City Hall spokesman, information from the AV testing will ultimately be accessible on the city’s Open Data website. The Department of Transportation will consider requests from applicants to restrict some data from disclosure due to confidentiality as part of the application process.

Companies without prior experience testing autonomous vehicles in other cities would not be able to meet the standards. Information from prior exams, such as specifics about any collisions and the frequency of safety drivers having to take over the wheel, must be submitted by applicants.

One of the businesses involved, Google’s Waymo, has announced that its vehicles have caused 85% fewer injuries than human-operated vehicles, based on over 10 million kilometers of autonomous travel. The unpredictable cityscape of New York, however, might present a particularly difficult environment for the new technology.



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