New York Governor Gives the Stamp of Approval for Driverless Technology Road Testing

flatbed shipping
Driverless Technology

The state of New York, nicknamed the Empire State holds the third largest economy in the United States, trailing only Texas and California, New York’s economy is so large that it would rank in the top 20 largest economies in the world if it were its own independent country. Although New York is mainly known for its strong service based economy which includes; financial services, healthcare, and retail industries, it is also home to the Port of New York and New Jersey. The port is the busiest container terminal on the East Coast. If looking at tonnage alone, the port is the third largest in the United States. One of the cash crops for New York agriculture are hay and corn which is primarily used to feed the state’s livestock. New York’s economy is so strong that despite not being heavily agriculture or manufacturing based, there are still large volumes of flatbed carriers that come through New York.

Recent approval by New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has allowed autonomous vehicle testing in the state. Discussions regarding autonomous vehicles have sparked substantial interest in redefining the capabilities of an automobile. Many companies have already begun developing autonomous vehicles whether they are casual cars or flatbed trucks for carriers. News of approval by Governor Cuomo broke on May 10th, 2017, with word being spreading that the state would now be accepting applications from those interested in testing their autonomous vehicles. State legislation designates those accepted to be engaged in a yearlong pilot program. New York’s program has imposed several stipulations as conditions to those looking to be accepted and those engaged in the program. Some of the requirements placed are that companies must have a $5 million dollar insurance policy, submit reports to the state, their activity must be overseen by state police, and they have to pay the state police for supervising each road test they conduct. Testing is also not allowed in construction or school zones, additionally, companies must use a predesignated route that is shared in advance with the state. German car company, Audi, has recently become the first company to enter the fold. Audi has begun conducting tests on level three autonomous vehicles. Level three autonomous vehicles are re vehicles that are capable of automated highway driving in specific road conditions. Part of the rationale behind autonomous vehicles are that they will prevent more accidents and deaths on the road.

New York Governor Gives the Stamp of Approval for Driverless Technology Road Testing

Autonomous vehicles are still being developed and are certain to have a long path ahead of them in terms of legislation and technological developments, but they are certainly looming in the horizon. The intention behind allowing companies to conduct tests is certain to be a move for the state to become a hub for innovation in autonomous vehicle technology. The industry is certain to effect all forms of transportation. The state has a high demand for flatbed freight to be moved by transportation providers. This is in part due to the proximity the state has to other states, as well as the large economy that the state boasts. Transportation rates for freight going through, into, or out of the city typically comes with a higher price tag due to regulations as well as traffic. Autonomous vehicles could facilitate flatbed shipping when they look to move their freight. With self-driving flatbed trucks on the road, there will be a higher supply of available carriers, which means that shipper demand will be more easily met and rates on flatbed hauling quotes will likely decrease as the supply of carriers increases. Public perception and trust in driverless technology is likely to be one of the biggest impediments this market faces when coming to the forefront. Stay posted on the blog for more articles concerning autonomous vehicles and its impact on flatbed trucking.

Contributing Editor,

David Bansleben