General Motors announced last year it would begin testing its self-driving cars in New York City—a major change from sunny California and Arizona. However, the city of New York has reportedly dragged its feet and hasn’t issued a permit yet.
According to a Jalopnik report last Thursday, there’s been zero movement on the city’s part. The original announcement between GM and the state of New York called for an early-2018 deployment of the self-driving cars. As a reminder, we’re now in the middle of May and quickly approaching the half-way mark of 2018.
The delays could have something to do with the NYC mayor Bill de Blasio’s opposition to robo taxis operating on the city’s streets.
“The Mayor has strenuously opposed this pilot on heavily traveled lower Manhattan streets,” said Seth Stein, a spokesman for the mayor’s office.
Stein’s statement added the state should “stop” GM’s plans immediately.
General Motors and Cruise Automation have continuously tested its self-driving cars, the Cruise AV, in California and Arizona. Tests in those states provide rather ideal conditions for autonomous-driving technology with clear skies, a lack of rain, and warm temperatures. New York City will likely prove a much more challenging locale.
GM has reportedly mapped a “significant” portion of NYC since the automaker announced plans to bring the Cruise AV to the Big Apple. Previously, just five square miles of the city had been mapped.
The automaker hopes to commercialize self-driving cars sometime in 2019.