Autonomous shuttle to be tested in New York City

Image source, Optimus Ride
Image caption,
The service will at first only be available on a private site in Brooklyn

A self-driving shuttle service is to be deployed in New York City by the middle of the year.

Boston start-up Optimus Ride will run vehicles on private roads at the Brooklyn Navy Yard site located on New York's East River.

The shuttle will help workers get around the large site.

Self-driving vehicles are being widely trialled around the world, but vehicles sometimes crash and some regulators have halted tests.

The company would not be drawn on details about the initial deployment.

In an email to technology site The Verge a spokesperson wrote: "The fleet of self-driving vehicles at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Paradise Valley estates will increase throughout the deployment period."

They added that the cars are designed to operate in "environments of 25mph."

Driverless Race

Cities and countries around the world have been allowing driverless vehicles onto their roads.

The Swiss Post Office operates a driverless shuttle in the Valais Canton.

Nanyang Technological University in Singapore has driverless shuttles at its campus.

Singapore says it has been testing further services in other areas.

Image source, NTU Singapore
Image caption,
A driverless shuttle in Singapore

Lawmaker response

While some lawmakers have been encouraging autonomous vehicles, others have taken a tougher line.

A self-driving school bus test was halted in the US last year and was described as "irresponsible" and "inappropriate" by regulators.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it had sent a letter to the transport firm Transdev, ordering it to "immediately stop transporting schoolchildren" or risk fines, "the voiding of the temporary importation authorisation, and/or the exportation of the vehicle".

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