NY taking applications for companies to test self-driving cars

Uber employees test a self-driving Ford Fusion hybrid car, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Pittsburgh. Uber said that passengers in Pittsburgh will be able to summon rides in self-driving cars with the touch of a smartphone button in the next several weeks. The high-tech ride-hailing company said that an unspecified number of autonomous Ford Fusions with human backup drivers will pick up passengers just like normal Uber vehicles. Riders will be able to opt in if they want a self-driving car, and rides will be free to those willing to do it, spokesman Matt Kallman said. (AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)

Albany, N.Y. (WHAM) - Companies interested in testing or demonstrating autonomous vehicles on public roads can do so in New York.

Governor Cuomo announced Wednesday that the state is taking DMV applications as part of a year-long pilot program.

The program was incorporated into the 2018 budget.

In addition to the legislation, the new Department of Motor Vehicles application process is another step forward in making New York the epicenter of cutting-edge technology and innovation.

Testing requirements and the application are available here.

"New York has emerged as one of the nation's leading hubs for innovation, and as we invite companies and entrepreneurs to reimagine transportation technology, we will encourage the development of new, safe travel options for New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said.

All vehicles will be required to comply with federal and state safety standards. In addition, a person with a valid driver license must be present in the driver's seat at all times while it is operated on public highways. Each vehicle to be used must be listed in the application, and a $5 million insurance policy must be in place for any vehicles to be tested.

A report following the demonstrations or tests must be submitted to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles no later than March 1, 2018.

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