Boston today gave a company experimenting with driverless cars permission to expand its testing from the Seaport to the entire city. Don't worry, at least during testing, you'll still have somebody to stare down behind the wheel:
In all cases while testing, a professionally trained safety driver is behind the wheel prepared to take over as necessary. Additionally, nuTonomy, and its parent company Aptiv, utilizes a test engineer in the passenger seat to monitor system performance. Each vehicle is equipped with a suite of sensors that provide a 360-degree view of the surroundings. Testing may occur in both day and nighttime hours, and during some inclement weather, such as light precipitation, fog, and low temperatures.
Boston transportation officials say nuTonomy has had a good track record over its 18 months of testing in the Seaport.
Creating a policy on the operation of autonomous vehicles on City of Boston streets is a priority of the Go Boston 2030 Transportation Plan as the technology is capable of significantly enhancing mobility for Boston residents, particularly for senior citizens and people with disabilities.
City officials are hoping that the next generation of robotmobiles will cut down on the number of fatalities caused by human mistakes. One of the conditions of the expansion is that the vehicles always observe speed limits.