GM, Cruise Get First Crack at NYC Autonomous Testing

They are the first to conduct Level 4 testing.

by on Oct.17, 2017

Cruise Automation introduced its third-gen automated vehicle. In addition to testing in San Francisco, they will also be part of the new New York City fleet.

General Motors and Cruise Automation continue their push for a leadership position in autonomous vehicle development, securing approval from the State of New York to begin Level 4 testing in the Empire State.

GM, which paid $1 billion for San Francisco-based Cruise in late 2016, will use a fleet of autonomous Chevy Bolts to conduct the real-world testing in Manhattan — the first company to gain approval to do so.

Plugging You In!

“Autonomous vehicles have the potential to save time and save lives, and we are proud to be working with GM and Cruise on the future of this exciting new technology,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

“The spirit of innovation is what defines New York, and we are positioned on the forefront of this emerging industry that has the potential to be the next great technological advance that moves our economy and moves us forward.”

(GM buys Lidar firm to accelerate autonomous car development. For the story, Click Here.)

GM and Cruise have started mapping the 5-mile-square geofenced area for the testing, which includes an engineer in the driver’s seat to monitor and evaluate performance, and a second person in the passenger seat. To handle the testing, Cruise is expanding its presence in New York and will begin building a team of employees in New York City.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed off on the approvals for GM and Cruise Automation to begin Level 4 autonomous testing in Manhattan.

“Testing in New York will accelerate the timeline to deploying self-driving cars at scale,” said Kyle Vogt, Cruise’s CEO.

“New York City is one of the most densely populated places in the world and provides new opportunities to expose our software to unusual situations, which means we can improve our software at a much faster rate. We look forward to working with Governor Cuomo as we work toward bringing next-generation transportation solutions to New York.”

(Click Here for details about GM investing in autonomous driving software company.)

The Department of Motor Vehicles and State Police will work with Cruise and GM to ensure all testing meets relevant safety, vehicle and insurance requirements, Cuomo’s office confirmed. The Level 4 testing is just one step removed from complete autonomy.

A Level 5 vehicle is capable of navigating roads without any driver input and in its purest form would have no steering wheel or brakes. The move is the second of the month made by GM to advance the development of autonomous vehicles.

The company acquired a Lidar technology company named Strobe Inc. Based in Pasadena, California, will be taken under the wing of GM’s Cruise Automation team to develop next-generation Lidar for the company’s self-driving vehicles. The parties did not reveal the financials of the agreement.

(GM investing $14 million in Cruise Automation. For the story, Click Here.)

The company’s developed a new microchip Lidar system would significantly enhance the capabilities of the self-driving cars GM was developing.

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