By early next year self-driving cars will hit the city streets as part of a round of tests of vehicles in fully autonomous mode, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.
Working with General Motors and Cruise Automation, mapping has begun in a geofenced area ( a method of using GPS to create a virtual boundary), Cuomo said.
All testing will include an engineer in the driver's seat to monitor and evaluate performance, and a second person in the passenger seat. In support of the work, Cruise is expanding its presence in New York and will begin building a team of employees in New York City.
"Autonomous vehicles have the potential to save time and save lives, and we are proud to be working with GM and Cruise on the future of this exciting new technology," Cuomo said. "The spirit of innovation is what defines New York, and we are positioned on the forefront of this emerging industry that has the potential to be the next great technological advance that moves our economy and moves us forward."
Kyle Vogt, CEO of Cruise Automation, said testing in New York will accelerate the timeline to deploying self-driving cars on a larger scale.
"New York City is one of the most densely populated places in the world and provides new opportunities to expose our software to unusual situations, which means we can improve our software at a much faster rate," he said.
Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer believes New York is the ultimate proving ground for autonomous vehicle technology, with a streetscape that is unrivaled in its scale and complexity.
In addition to New York, GM has been testing self-driving vehicles in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Detroit.
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