Autonomous vehicle developer Optimus Ride has launched New York’s first self-driving vehicle program, located at the Brooklyn Navy Yard – an industrial park with more than 400 manufacturing businesses and 10,000 employees on-site.
Optimus Ride will deploy six vehicles to transport passengers between the New York City (NYC) ferry stop at Dock 72 and the yard’s Cumberland Gate at Flushing Avenue.
Dr Ryan Chin, CEO and co-founder of Optimus Ride, said, “Launching our self-driving vehicle system in New York at the Brooklyn Navy Yard is yet another validation that not only is Optimus Ride’s system a safe, efficient means of transportation, but also that autonomous vehicles can solve real-world problems in structured environments – today. In addition, our system will provide access to and experience with autonomy for thousands of people, helping to increase acceptance and confidence of this new technology.”
The vehicles will transport an expected 500 passengers per day and more than 16,000 passengers per month. Initially, there will be a safety driver and software operator in the vehicle while in operation. The system will run on a continuous loop between 7:00am and 10:30pm on weekdays between the dock and the Cumberland Gate. At weekends the system will run between the dock and Building 77 during those same time periods.
David Ehrenberg, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, added, “The Brooklyn Navy Yard’s mission is to serve as a hub of urban innovation, and we are constantly looking for new ways to improve the experiences of our tenants and visitors. We are excited to bring the future of transportation to New York with Optimus Ride, and provide the 10,000 employees across the Yard and the Brooklyn community with greater access to convenient mobility.”