Beginning today, Wednesday August 7, driverless cars will officially be a reality in NYC—but don’t expect them to be the new norm just yet.
Six self-driving cars known as Optimus Ride will currently shuttle people within Brooklyn Navy Yard, running on a “continuous loop” from 7 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. all week. The new vehicles will take people from the NYC Ferry at Dock 72 to the Yards’ Cumberland Gate at Flushing Avenue during the weekdays and weekend service will run during the same hours but between Dock 72 and Building 77.
According to their press release, the company expects to shuttle about 500 passengers per day and over 16,000 passengers per month. Co-founder and CEO of Optimus Ride, Dr. Ryan Chin, said that:
“Launching our self-driving vehicle system in New York at the Brooklyn Navy Yard is yet another validation that not only is Optimus Ride’s system a safe, efficient means of transportation, but also that autonomous vehicles can solve real-world problems in structured environments – today. In addition, our system will provide access to and experience with autonomy for thousands of people, helping to increase acceptance and confidence of this new technology, which helps move the overall industry forward. We’re thrilled to work with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation to make history in the city and the state.”
Adding to the exciting addition, the President and CEO of Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, David Ehrenberg, said: “The Brooklyn Navy Yard’s mission is to serve as a hub of urban innovation and we are constantly looking for new ways to improve the experiences of our tenants and visitors. We are excited to bring the future of transportation to New York with Optimus Ride, and provide the 10,000 employees across the Yard and the Brooklyn community with greater access to convenient mobility.”
BNYD is currently undergoing a massive $1 billion expansion that’ll create an additional 10,000 jobs by the end of 2021, and a larger plan to create an additional 10,000 jobs after that (making it a hub of roughly 30,000 jobs within a decade).
featured image source: Optimus Ride
Also published on Medium.