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Cumartesi, Nisan 20, 2024

Self-Driving Cars Get OK For Test Drive In New York City

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By Janet Ekstract NEW YORK- On Thursday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams gave the go-ahead for a plethora of companies to test their self-driving car technology in the Big Apple. Self-driving cars, also known as autonomous vehicles (Avs), won’t be allowed to test in New York City without a “trained safety driver” at the wheel at all times, according to a top official at the city’s Department of Transporation (DOT). Google’s self-driving car division – Waymo- in a statement said that it’s planning to participate in the pilot project. Waymo’s Global Head of Public Policy Michelle Peacock said “We commend this important step, as well as the city’s ongoing commitment to drive innovation and deliver transportation improvements for new Yorkers.” Peacock added “As the world’s leading autonomous vehicle ride-hailing company, Waymo looks forward to continuing our partnership with Mayor Adams and his administration as we continue to safely bring our technologies to more cities and communities across the country.” In order to participate, applicants must provide an “overview” of their program’s level of automation, safety performance and crash history. The DOT will meet applicants before and during testing to review their plans and monitor compliance. 

There are the naysayers on AVs like Executive Director of safe streets advocacy group Transportation Alternatives Danny Harris who told the New York Post that “Driverless cars are untested, dangerous technology and they have no place in New York City.” He added that “New Yorkers should not be lab rats for the car industry, which has already killed and injured thousands of our neighbors.” Harris was referring to a series of crashes and some AV mishaps that occurred in 2023 in some cities in the U.S. The most talked about case was in San Francisco where a pedestrian was dragged 20 feet after a Cruise taxi crashed into them. Meanwhile, President of the Independent Drivers Guild Brendan Sexton weighed in on the move. He said, “Mayor Adams is endangering our children, pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and all New Yorkers by allowing autonomous vehicles on our streets.” His guild represents about 80,000 Uber and Lyft drivers and Sexton told the New York Post that “New York City has the most challenging traffic environment in the country and is no place for testing out dangerous autonomous vehicle technology.’

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