New York is soon to witness the testing of self-driving cars for the first time. GM and its subsidiary Cruise Automation have applied for the testing their cars in the state, according to some news reports. During the tests, an engineer needs to be present behind the wheels to evaluate the performance, along with another person sitting on the rear seat.
New York, which is known for having one of the busiest traffics in the world, if these tests are successful here, it would propel the development of driverless cars and will be a big boost. The tests also will also be watched closely as it may provide a solution for the state grappling with the problem of traffic. The driverless cars till now have been tested in a controlled environment and the on the streets of cities like San Francisco; Scottsdale, Arizona; and the Detroit area, whose scale do not match the huge traffic in New York.
GM had created a buzz last month by announcing its achievement of creating first mass producible self-driving cars, this was furthered by a statement by Deutsche Bank analyst Rod Lache, that the company will reach its target of launching driverless cars well ahead of its competitors. With this background, the announcement by the company to test its cars in New York has led to speculations that the automaker might foray into autonomous taxi service. GM had earlier expressed its interest in autonomous taxi service, also the company has the $500m investment in the ride-hailing company, Lyft. However, it would be too soon to predict anything as driving taxis in complex road traffic needs to be backed with detalied maps as well.