Report: Autonomous Vehicle Tests in Manhattan May Have Hit a Regulatory Bump in the Road

GM’s plan to test autonomous cars in New York City doesn’t appear to be going to plan, as no evidence can be found of progress between the company and the State’s DMV.

Jalopnik reports that a Freedom of Information Law request for any communications between GM (and Cruise Automation) and the New York DMV about autonomous vehicles tests returned no results.

“After a diligent search, the Department is not in possession of any records responsive to your request,” the DMV wrote.

Despite that, a spokesperson for the DMV told the site that the process is still ongoing.

GM concurred, and Cruise Automation still has an office in NYC, which appears to be active. The company also says that has mapped a large part of NYC, but added that “New York is a complex regulatory environment and we continue to work stakeholders on next steps.”

Unfortunately, GM may be caught up in that complex regulatory environment through no real fault of its own. When New York Governor Cuomo announced that the state and its biggest city were open for autonomous tests, he apparently did so without talking to NYC’s Mayor de Blasio.

“The city wasn’t given much notice of this idea and we certainly weren’t consulted,” a spokesperson for the mayor told the New York Times a year ago. “We have very real safety concerns. We are obviously looking forward to some detail on this idea before any cars hit the streets.”

Since then, it’s worth noting, Cruise Automation has also gotten in touch with San Francisco about testing autonomous cars.

Despite it all, GM maintains that it wants to start testing autonomous vehicles in Manhattan.

[source: Jalopnik]

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