The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is looking to increase the capacity of one of the country’s busiest bus lanes by employing self-driving vehicles. The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the agency will test autonomous buses in the Lincoln Tunnel’s exclusive bus lane, which runs 2.5 miles along New Jersey Route 495. The Port Authority estimates the tech could allow for 200 more buses to run during each morning weekday rush, giving 10,000 more NJ commuters a ride to the Midtown terminal.
A self-driving vehicle, photo via GM
General Motors will bring a fleet of self-driving cars to a 5-square-mile section of lower Manhattan early next year, becoming the first company to deploy autonomous cars in New York City. As the Wall Street Journal learned, in partnership with driverless-car developer Cruise Automation, GM’s testing will include an engineer in the driver’s seat to monitor the performance and a second person in the passenger seat. In May, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state began accepting applications from companies interested in autonomous technologies in New York. GM and Cruise’s planned testing will become the first time Level 4 autonomous vehicles will be tested in NYC, getting a head start on making the Big Apple a hub for self-driving cars.
With NYC residents owning fewer personal vehicles than any other city in the U.S., it’s no surprise that it may soon become a major hub for autonomous transportation. To ensure the future efficiency of driverless vehicles in such a densely populated area, Blank Space and the City of New York created a Driverless Future Challenge to solicit visions for the future of autonomous transit. According to Archinect, participants from over 25 countries sent proposals, which have now been narrowed down to four finalists. Their ideas include a plug-and-play public square, curbside pickup system, a rideshare platform for the outer boroughs, and a local food delivery service.