Self-driving cars are being tested in a handful of places but New York City won’t be one of them. Mayor Bill de Blasio isn’t too keen on testing self-driving cars in New York City citing safety concerns. The governor of New York state (Cuomo) thinks it’s a good idea for GM to test in NYC but de Blasio couldn’t disagree more. Governor Cuomo announced testing but de Blasio says the city was never informed of the state’s intentions. Cuomo says the city was informed.
“This announcement was done without any knowledge of the City of New York and that is unacceptable,” de Blasio said at an unrelated Upper West Side press conference. “We will use all means at our disposal to stop this from happening, unless and until there is a proper process that our public safety officials deems will allow New Yorkers to be safe.”
“In the middle of Vision Zero, the last thing we want to do is create a potential new danger,” he said, referring to his plan to end traffic deaths. “So we’re going to be very aggressive in saying this is not a good idea unless it is carefully vetted and carefully prepared. We’re nowhere near that now.”
“The state of New York wants to test these vehicles, choose parts of the state that are appropriate, work with local officials if they welcome it — some parts of the country have welcomed it, that’s great,” he said. “But if you want to come here, you have to work with us. You have to start by sitting down with the NYPD and that did not happen.”
de Blasio makes some very valid points about New York City streets being amongst the busiest in the nation. Perhaps early-stage testing on these streets isn’t prudent and should be held back until the technology is proven in less congested areas.