Self-driving cars will be cruising down New York City streets soon.
General Motors is planning to test self-driving cars in the streets of New York City early next year.
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"New York is the ultimate proving ground for autonomous vehicle technology", Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said Tuesday, in a press release.
But the movement to allow driverless cars has been limited by several high-profile accidents, including the death a year ago in Florida of a man who crashed a Tesla vehicle that was on autopilot; it is not yet known if the technology was the cause of the accident.
A Cruise self-driving vehicle rides on 11th Street in San Francisco in March.
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"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". It was previously reported the testing will occur in a 5-square-mile section of lower Manhattan. Cruise will also have to open an office in New York City and hire employees for a new team. For example, he said, test cars in San Francisco encountered 270 emergency vehicles every 1,000 miles; in the Phoenix suburbs, they only encountered six. "We believe it's the fastest path toward deploying self-driving cars at scale".
Cruise also plans to set up an office in NY as part of its testing. "The companies, they're making the money".
NY is a relative latecomer to autonomous vehicle testing. Forty-two companies were authorized to test autonomous vehicles on public roads in California as of September.
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The cars will be programmed to navigate obstacles such as aggressive drivers, construction barriers and bad weather. "We look forward to working with Governor Cuomo as we work toward bringing next-generation transportation solutions to NY". If a delivery company or a taxi service has a fleet of 50 or 100 autonomous vehicles that need constant service, maintenance and parking, the cars need to get enough use to make that economically viable.
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