The governor of New York recently announced that General Motors and Cruise Automation have applied to begin the first sustained testing of vehicles in a full autonomous mode in the state of New York early next year. This will mean that GM and Cruise will be the first to test out autonomous vehicle in the state. The area in which the testing zone will be in Manhattan.
“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,” Governor 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.”
New York will prove a great testing ground for Cruise as it is filled with narrow streets and plenty of obstacles, from road closures to twisting turns in tight spaces. This is normally a scenario where companies would not want to test in but also serves as the ultimate proving grounds to anyone who wants to showcase their technology.
General Motors and Cruise are the first to want to adhere to New York’s strict rules of testing which requires an engineer to be behind the wheel of the self-driving car as well as a passenger. Also as part of the agreement, Cruise will set up an office in New York and begin hiring a team to run that said office.
Kyle Vogt, CEO of Cruise Automation, said, “Testing in New York will accelerate the timeline to deploying self-driving cars at 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. We look forward to working with Governor Cuomo as we work toward bringing next-generation transportation solutions to New York.”
The Department of Motor Vehicles and State Police will work with Cruise and GM to ensure all testing meets relevant safety, vehicle and insurance requirements.