GM autonomous fleet heads to New York

October 27, 2017  - By

GM’s Cruise Autonomous car.

General Motors’ self-driving unit Cruise Automation is applying to begin the first sustained testing of vehicles in fully autonomous mode in New York state — specifically in Manhattan ­— in early 2018.

“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 State Governor Andrew Cuomo.

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

GM is also doubling the size of its test fleet in San Francisco, California, from 30 to 100 as part of its effort to develop software capable of navigating congested and chaotic urban environments. GM has reported more run-ins between its self-driving cars and human-operated vehicles and bicycles. Its vehicles were involved in six minor crashes in September, all of which were caused by the other vehicle.

Lidar Acquisition. GM announced Oct. 9 that it has acquired lidar company Strobe. Strobe’s engineering staff joins GM’s Cruise Automation team to define and develop next-generation lidar solutions for self-driving vehicles. Lidar images provide a more accurate view of the world than cameras or radar alone, information needed by autonomous cars.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.