Get ready New York City — Driverless cars are coming your way soon. Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that a program to allow testing of self-driving vehicles is officially open to applications from manufacturers of cars or companies working for those manufacturers.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that a program to allow testing of self-driving vehicles is officially open to applications from manufacturers of cars or companies working for those manufacturers.
Companies like Uber, Tesla and Waymo are sure to be excited about this opportunity. New York will be joining other states in the U.S. that are already in the process of testing the safety and reliability of autonomous cars.
The legal timeframe to apply for and start testing has been open since April 1. The pilot program and the law allowing driverless vehicles on the road are set to expire on April 1, 2018.
Professor Chunming Qiao, Ph.D, at UB, is a computer science engineer working on the advancement of autonomous car technology.
“That technology is mostly still in the lab and being tested, except for a few preliminary technologies, like autopilot of a Tesla, it really has not been commercialized,” Qiao said of where the general progression of the technology stands now.
When you see these vehicles on the road, it is important to realize they aren’t yet the norm. Right now, companies want to analyze how these vehicles respond to New York’s climate and variety of roads.
The biggest concern with autonomous cars is safety, and that is the issue many people doubt. Qiao realizes that there are still risks associated with this new technology that needs to be studied.
The way of driverless future
However, “Autonomous vehicles have a lot of potential in improving safety and efficiency of the transportation system,” explains Qiao.
He believes the future is ultimately heading that direction, though it may take people a while to get used to sharing the road with autonomous cars.
“This is why it’s important not to just test an autonomous vehicle on a closed track, but on an open road where you can study the reaction from the human drivers,” Qiao said.