Brooklyn Navy Yard via Optimus
Self-driving vehicles are officially coming to New York City this year. The Boston-based startup Optimus Ride announced on Wednesday plans to deploy a fleet of autonomous shuttle vans to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a 300-acre site in the midst of transforming from a World War II-era warship site to a modern tech-hub. When it launches in the second quarter of this year, the self-driving program will be the first of its kind in New York, according to the company.
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Governor Cuomo continues his push to improve and modernize transit across the state, announcing today that the first application for an autonomous vehicle demonstration on New York public roads has been approved. As shared in a press release, Audi of America Inc. was given the green light and will begin demonstrations this summer. The upcoming tests will be the first ever made in New York history and will be conducted on roads near the state capital, Albany.
more details here
Image of Uber’s self-driving vehicle via Nathan Ingraham for Engadget
On top of plans to roll out flying taxis in NYC within five years, ride-hailing company Uber, in addition to many similar companies, hopes to make driverless cars next on their list of proposals. As reported by Crain’s, shared driverless vehicles could account for a quarter of all miles driven in the U.S. by 2030. Since the cars would be shared, driverless and electric, the low-cost would allow many people to give up their personal cars, especially in densely populated cities. New Yorkers own fewer vehicles than residents in any other U.S. city, making it the biggest market for ride-hail services as well as the perfect guinea pig for companies to test driverless vehicles.
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Self-driving cars are definitely in our future. Some states–Nevada, Florida, Michigan, California–and Washington, D.C. are already allowing them on their streets (at least for testing purposes) and a number of others are considering doing the the same. Though the road to a hands-free life has been paved, the future of it all is still up in the air. What would allowing self-driving cars on the road en masse mean for our safety? How will we communicate our needs to them? In what ways will they change how we live day to day? And can they enrich our lives?
International design group and think tank IDEO wants to explore what this new technology could mean for urban life over the next 15 years. With their study “The Future of Automobility” they offer up a wildly vibrant vision through three concepts grounded in the use of autonomous vehicles.
Check out their fantastic proposal here