Cruise Automation wants to make self-driving cars in New York City a reality as soon as 2018. The self-driving car wing of General Motors has announced plans to test Chevy Bolts in an area of Manhattan spanning five square miles, beginning as early as next year. Previously, the company has evaluated how its vehicles perform in an urban setting by testing them out on the streets of San Francisco.
In May 2017, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo detailed a one-year pilot program that would give automakers the opportunity to apply for permission to test self-driving cars in New York starting in 2018. Cruise Automation has submitted a request, which is expected to be granted, according to a report from CNN.
Pedestrians will likely pose the greatest challenge for the Bolts let loose on the streets of Manhattan. Though, the vehicles are programmed to slow down when a human enters their path — a frequent occurrence in crowded city streets.
Up until now, the west coast has been the biggest hotspot for tests of self-driving cars — a trend that appears to be continuing: California is currently tweaking legislation that would allow autonomous vehicles to operate without a human driver, via ordinance which will go into effect next year.