New York is in for its first self-driving car shuttle service, thanks to Optimus Ride. The company announced Wednesday that it will bring the first autonomous shuttles to the Empire State later this year.
Specifically, the shuttles will operate at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which covers 300 acres and houses more than 400 manufacturing sites. About 9,000 employees work at the site and the self-driving shuttles will be available to transport riders in a geo-fenced area. The route will also provide a loop for ferry passengers to Flushing Avenue just outside of the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s perimeter.
Optimus Ride has taken a different approach to self-driving car technology than some of its competitors. Rather than deploy vehicles on city streets, the shuttles operate in communities and private locations. Most recently, the company announced it would bring its vehicles to a community outside of Washington, D.C.
Additionally, the company will launch its self-driving shuttles in California at Paradise Valley Estates, a retirement community located in Fairfield north of San Francisco. With the new announcements, Optimus Ride will have operations ongoing in four states.
The New York announcement also technically makes the company the very first to launch any sort of self-driving operation in the state. General Motors was tipped to begin testing its self-driving cars in New York City last year, but the plans haven’t come to life yet. GM also plans for a self-driving ride-sharing service to launch sometime this year.