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Audi to begin autonomous driving tests in NY

State budget allows autonomous vehicle testing for year-long pilot

Published: June 2, 2017, 2:30 AM
Updated: June 5, 2017, 4:32 AM

Audi A7 Sportback Piloted Driving concept

Audi has taken another step toward putting autonomous vehicles on the road in North America, with the approval of the company’s application to test in New York, the first company authorized to do so.

The move comes after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that the state was ready to accept applications from companies looking to test autonomous vehicles on state roads. Audi plans to demonstrate its vehicles and technology in the Albany area in mid-June.

“We have been leading the way in the development of piloted driving technology for more than a decade now, and testing in real-world environments is a key step in our pursuit of safer roads,’’ said Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America. “We applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership and stand ready to assist in defining how this future will unfold in the Empire State now and for years to come.”

New York’s 2018 budget opened up the state’s roads for autonomous vehicle testing for a year-long pilot program.

“New York State is a nationwide leader in innovative highway safety programs and the potential for autonomous vehicles to save lives on our roadways is immeasurable,” said Governor Cuomo.

Audi will be testing vehicles with Level 3 automation, which the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) designates as capable of performing certain autonomous driving functions at highway speeds. The car will be tested with two engineers on board to monitor the system and ensure safety. It submitted a route for the testing and state police approved it, and will also be supervising the demonstration.