New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state is now taking applications to test self-driving cars on public roadways. The program requires licensees to have a $5 million insurance policy. Cars must also pass federal and New York automotive safety standards and all test reports must be submitted to the state by March of next year.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has designated 10 proving ground pilot sites to encourage testing and information sharing around automated vehicle technologies. These proving ground designations will foster innovations that can safely transform personal and commercial mobility, expand capacity, and open new doors to disadvantaged people and communities. These designations are a logical next step in the Department’s effort to advance the safe deployment of automated technology.
Automakers and tech companies will share data with each other and the government as they test their autonomous vehicles at these sites, the agency says. The proving grounds are intended to test autonomous vehicle safety and handling in a variety of road conditions. This group will openly share best practices for the safe conduct of testing and operations as they are developed,
The Proving Ground designees are:
- City of Pittsburgh and the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute
- Texas AV Proving Grounds Partnership
- U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center
- American Center for Mobility (ACM) at Willow Run
- Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) & GoMentum Station
- San Diego Association of Governments
- Iowa City Area Development Group
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Central Florida Automated Vehicle Partners
- North Carolina Turnpike Authority
Founded in 2013 by ex-MIT engineers, Nutonomy announced a $3.6m funding round in January, followed swiftly by $16m in funding in May from venture capitalists including Ford chairman Bill Ford and the Singapore government.
Like Uber and Google, Nutonomy is convinced that the real benefits of autonomous technology will be when humans never have to touch a steering wheel or brake pedal
Automakers from Silicon Valley, to Detroit to Germany are designing driverless cars. On Thursday, the Department of Transportation made its first formal policy statement on autonomous vehicles. It said that driverless cars should not yet be allowed, except for testing. It said, however, that semiautonomous features, such as cars that keep themselves centered in lanes and adjust their speed based on the location of the car ahead, could save lives.
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it was issuing recommendations for driverless cars as a result of companies like Google are developing automated technologies for vehicles and several states are beginning to approve their use. NHTSA stated in its policy that it does not believe driverless cars are ready for widespread use, but “encourage” further testing of the newest technologies by providing guidance to states.
“While the agency does not believe that self-driving vehicles are currently ready to be driven on public roads for purposes other than testing, the agency would like to emphasize that it is encouraged by innovations in automated driving and their potential to transform our roadways.” NHTSA’s policy divides vehicle technologies into four categories: Function-specific Automation (Level 1), Combined Function Automation (Level 2), Limited Self-Driving Automation (Level 3); Full Self-Driving Automation (Level 4).
NHTSA said driverless cars would fall into levels three and four. Google’s prototype, which was featured in a popular YouTube video, would be a level three automated vehicle.