Autonomous cars will now be allowed on all public Boston roads. The city has played host to nuTonomy for some time now, allowing the company to test its self-driving Renault Zoes at the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park in January of last year, later expanding its testing zone to the Seaport District. And for the past few months, nuTonomy and Lyft have teamed up on a pilot program, transporting passengers in the autonomous vehicles within the Seaport area. Now, Boston will allow nuTonomy to test its vehicles city-wide.
"Continuing to test autonomous vehicles in a careful and methodical manner represents another step forward in helping us to achieve the vision for improved mobility that was established by residents during the Go Boston 2030 Transportation Plan public process," Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said in a statement. "If deployed thoughtfully, shared fleets of autonomous vehicles could offer the city of Boston the potential to improve safety on our streets, provide equitable connections to the MBTA and offer a new source of mobility to all Boston residents."
Boston will require nuTonomy, which is owned by Aptiv, to submit quarterly reports on its tests and the company will have to let the Boston Transportation Department know when it has moved into a new neighborhood. While it's the first to be granted city-wide access, nuTonomy isn't the only company testing its autonomous vehicles in the city. Optimus Ride is currently testing its technology in the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Industrial Park.
"We are proud to be the first company authorized to operate autonomous vehicles on public roads city-wide in Boston," Karl Iagnemma, president of Aptiv Automated Mobility on Demand, said in a statement. "Being recognized by the city for our exceptional safety record is an important milestone for the entire nuTonomy and Aptiv team. Today, we are excited to have access to some of the most complex roads in North America as we continue to focus on improving the safety and efficiency of transportation in cities worldwide."