Autonomous vehicles will soon start transporting passengers in New York City, but they won’t have to deal with the Big Apple’s notorious traffic. Optimus Ride will deploy low-speed autonomous shuttles on private streets within the Brooklyn Navy Yard later this year.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard hasn’t churned out a battleship in decades, but it has been developed into a 300-acre industrial park which hosts over 400 businesses with 9,000 employees. Shuttles will operate on a loop from a ferry dock on the East River, across the Navy Yard, to an exit to public streets at Flushing Avenue. Optimus Ride claims this will be the first “commercial self-driving vehicle program” in the state of New York.
For the past few years, Metro has closed its rail system before midnight on Sundays through Thursdays and at 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, the result of scheduling more repair work overnight to address maintenance and safety issues. Those service hours have forced many late-night workers in the region, including those in the hospitality and healthcare industries, to take Metrorail alternatives in the early morning, from Uber and Lyft to taxis and carpools.
Now, Metro is aiming to alleviate the inconvenience from its shortened hours by subsidizing on-demand rides that late-night workers take within its service area. The transit agency has released a solicitation for companies that could provide discounted rides for these workers, between midnight and 4 a.m. seven days a week. Through a one-year pilot program, Metro would fund up to $1 million in subsidized rides, guaranteeing $3 per ride for up to 10 weekly rides for an individual late-night worker. The program could kick off as soon as this summer.
Tomorrow’s cities are reshaping almost every industry imaginable, and birthing those we’ve never heard of.
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A team of professors and students were crowned the winners of D.C.’s first public innovation competition last week for developing a traffic safety app.
The team won $25,000 in startup research funds as part of the inaugural GigabitDCx competition, which challenged innovators to submit technological solutions to confront city mobility and environmental issues. Members of the winning team said their submission, called Road Vision, will help individuals analyze and predict traffic collision and congestion patterns on their travel routes.
The technology analyzes traffic patterns from videos of roadways to “characterize and predict” traffic patterns, including road congestion, accidents and traffic from pedestrians, cyclists and scooters, according to the team’s submission page.
Members of the team said the technology will rely on data from traffic cameras as well as public input. Users can submit videos of roadways using a free app and view real-time analysis and traffic predictions.