Brooklyn Navy Yard Sees First AV Deployment in New York

The autonomous vehicles testing will be limited to the private 300-acre industrial park, with legislation required before they can hit the public streets of New York. They will move an estimated 500 passengers per day.

by Erik Bascome, Staten Island Advance / August 7, 2019
Brooklyn Navy Yard, a 300-acre modern industrial park with over 400 manufacturing businesses and 9,000 people working on site. Courtesy Optimus Ride

(TNS) — New York’s first driverless cars are ready to hit the road.

Optimus Ride, an autonomous vehicle technology company, is launching the state’s first self-driving vehicle program in Brooklyn Navy Yard, a 300-acre industrial park that’s home to over 400 businesses, employing over 10,000 employees.

Starting Wednesday, six self-driving shuttles will begin transporting passengers, free of charge, between the recently opened NYC Ferry stop at Dock 72 and Brooklyn Navy Yards’ Cumberland Gate at Flushing Avenue.

“Our system will provide access to and experience with autonomy for thousands of people, helping to increase acceptance and confidence of this new technology, which helps move the overall industry forward. We’re thrilled to work with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation to make history in the city and the state,” said Dr. Ryan Chin, CEO and co-founder, Optimus Ride.

Optimus Ride expects the vehicles, which will run on a continuous loop between 7 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. on weekdays, to transport approximately 500 passengers per day, totaling over 15,000 passengers per month.

During the program’s initial rollout, a safety driver and software operator will be present in the vehicle to ensure that someone can take control if the self-driving software malfunctions.

The autonomous vehicles will be confined to operating within the private complex of Brooklyn Navy Yard, with legislation required before they can hit the public streets of New York.

“The Brooklyn Navy Yard’s mission is to serve as a hub of urban innovation and we are constantly looking for new ways to improve the experiences of our tenants and visitors. We are excited to bring the future of transportation to New York with Optimus Ride, and provide the 10,000 employees across the Yard and the Brooklyn community with greater access to convenient mobility," said David Ehrenberg, president and CEO, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.

©2019 Staten Island Advance, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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