New York Advances Testing For Self-Driving Cars


New York is now accepting applications from companies interested in testing or demonstrating autonomous vehicles on public roads. Included in the FY 2018 Budget, new legislation allows for testing autonomous technology through a year-long pilot program.

Applications for testing may be submitted by manufacturers of “autonomous vehicle technology,” or companies creating such technology working in conjunction with manufacturers. All vehicles will also have to comply with federal safety standards and all applicable New York State inspection standards, and a person holding a valid driver license must be present in the driver’s seat at all times while it is operated on public highways. Each vehicle to be used must be listed in the application, and a $5 million insurance policy must be in place for any vehicles to be tested.

The law permitting demonstrations or tests is set to expire April 1, 2018.

New York is the latest state to pass a measure that allows for self-driving car testing. So far, a handful of states have put resources in place to support driverless cars. In March, New Hampshire’s Department of Transportation awarded a contract to Maine-based Tilson Technology Management and Massachusetts-based MobilityTech aimed at helping the state upgrade its transportation systems to allow for driverless cars on the road.

Last year, Arizona also created a driverless car task force to review transportation regulation with an eye toward making the necessary allowances for autonomous vehicle testing and research.

CivSource has reached out to the Governor’s office to find out if projects under the New York law should be conceived as a single year pilot given the expiration date of the law, or if there is an opportunity for longer research and testing projects. We will update this page as we find out more information.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for the Governor’s Office confirmed that this is a one-year pilot project, so any applications will need to take that into account.