BROOKLYN NAVY YARD – Beginning Wednesday, August 7, six self-driving cars will shuttle commuters between the Brooklyn Navy Yard‘s Dock 72 NYC Ferry stop and the campus’s Cumberland Gate at Flushing Avenue, becoming New York State’s first commercial autonomous driving system.
A fleet of six Optimus Ride self-driving vehicles will transport approximately 500 passengers per day from 7am until 10:30pm on weekdays between Dock 72 and the Cumberland Gate/Flushing Avenue. On weekends, the cars will run from 7am until 10:30pm on a shorter route between Dock 72 and Building 77.
To ensure all runs smoothly, a safety driver and a software operator will be in the vehicles during the system’s launch.
Launched in Boston in 2015, Optimus Ride develops self-driving vehicle algorithms, software, hardware, and system integration for mobility on demand (MOD) solutions. The autonomous vehicles are ideal for industrial and office parks, military and academic campuses, smart cities, ports, airports, private mixed-use developments, and other areas equipped with a geofence (virtual perimeter), according to a press release announcing the Navy Yard’s new self-driving cars.
“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,” David Ehrenberg, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, said in a statement. “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.”
“We decided to invest in Dock 72 at the Navy Yard because of the unparalleled focus on innovation and access to forward-thinking transit options,” added Michael Rudin of Rudin Development, who along with Boston Properties developed the 16-story Dock 72 building, opening in late summer/early fall. “Optimus Ride will be another great way for our tenants to get around the campus.”
Along with New York, Optimus Ride currently offers its self-driving systems in cities and campuses in Massachusetts, Virginia, and California.