New York’s first self-driving cars will provide free rides within Brooklyn Navy Yard

Posted at 4:03 PM, Aug 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-06 16:03:16-04

BROOKLYN — New Yorkers will be able to ride in driverless cars beginning on Wednesday.

Six electric, autonomous vehicles, operated by Optimus Ride, will be offering free trips within the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

"This is one of the first public and accessible programs in the world for anyone to take an autonomous ride," said Ryan Chin, CEO and co-founder of Optimus Ride. "We provide that mobility to provide that greater access."

The cars are equipped with cameras and sensors that monitor roads and detect immediate surroundings.

Additionally, while the vehicles can smoothly turn and navigate themselves, a safety driver and software operator will always be present to educate passengers and assist if needed.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard says its manufacturing history makes it the perfect place to launch the state’s first commercial self-driving program.

"This is just one of many urban technologies and innovations we hope to host here," said Johanna Greenbaum, Chief Development Officer at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Don’t expect to see these cars on public streets just yet. The vehicles will only be riding around the 300-acre private property between the NYC Ferry stop at Dock 72 and either Cumberland Gate or Building 77 on weekdays and weekends, respectively.