New York City welcomes robotaxis — but only with safety drivers

New York City announced a new permitting system for companies interested in testing autonomous vehicles on its roads, including a requirement that a human safety driver sit behind the steering wheel at all times.

As cities like San Francisco continue to grapple with the problems posed by fully driverless for-hire vehicles, New York City is trying to get ahead of the problem by outlining what it calls “a rigorous permitting program” that it claims will ensure applicants are “ready to test their technology in the country’s most challenging urban environment safely and proficiently.”

“This technology is coming whether we like it or not,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement to The Verge, “so we’re going to make sure that we get it right.”

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