This autonomous vehicle testing measure expires April 1 of next year Photo courtesy of Google

New York approves one-year autonomous vehicle pilot program

April 25, 2017
Demonstration events must include police supervision, $5 million in insurance.

New York just signed off on a one-year program that allows demonstrations and testing of autonomous vehicle technologies on public highways.

The measure was included in the state’s latest budget agreement signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this month.

It temporarily relaxes existing state law requiring drivers to have at least one hand on the steering wheel.

The legislation calls for New York “to begin identifying potential impacts of such technology on safety, traffic control, traffic enforcement, emergency services” and other areas.

Any autonomous-driving event must be approved by the New York state commissioner of motor vehicles and take place under the supervision of the state police.

A minimum of $5 million in insurance is required, and a licensed driver must be present at all times.

The measure expires on April 1, 2018.

About the Author

Neil Abt

Neil Abt, editorial director at Fleet Owner, is a veteran journalist with over 20 years of reporting experience, including 15 years spent covering the trucking industry. A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., he began his career covering sports for The Washington Post newspaper, followed by a position in the newsroom of America Online (AOL) and then both reporting and leadership roles at Transport Topics. Abt is based out of Portland, Oregon.

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