Driverless Cars Could Hit New York’s Streets In 2018

Autonomous Car

Presumably it won't be as chaotic as the destructive driverless New York chase scene in Fate of the Furious.

Automakers are gearing up to make autonomous cars a reality in the next few years. While some states like California have been more accommodating than others in allowing car manufacturers to test self-driving vehicles on public roads, a 45-year-old law that requires drivers to keep one hand on the wheel has prevented autonomous cars from being unleashed onto the bustling streets of New York. That may soon change however, as the archaic legislation has been temporarily paused as part of the state's annual budget.

If the budget is passed, car companies will be allowed to test driverless cars on New York’s roads as early as next year. But before you worry that it will resemble a scene of all-out chaos akin to the chase scene in Fate of the Furious, in which dozens of driverless cars tear up Manhattan, several safety measures will be in place. A backup human driver will be required to sit in every autonomous car when it’s on the road, and testing will be supervised by the New York State Police and NY's Department of Motor Vehicles. When the measure expires in April 2018, both agencies will evaluate the technology’s effect on safety, traffic and emergency services.

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“Our involvement in the issue really began as we started to plan our Empire State of Mobility Conference for this year's New York Auto Show and we realized that we would not be able to have any real-time demonstrations of autonomous vehicles for government officials and the media. It just didn't make sense. The whole world looks to New York City as a place where trends begin and news is made, yet there was no provision for this important game-changing technology to be tested in the most populous and diverse city in the nation," GNYADA president Mark Schienberg said. It’s worth reiterating this only applies to tests, so autonomous cars won’t be clogging up the streets of New York any time soon.

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