New York State Agrees to Permit Tests of Self-Driving Cars

New York state has launched a one-year pilot program that will allow developers to test autonomous vehicles on public roads.

The state is accepting applications for the program, which imposes strict limits on the tests. Self-driving cars can’t be evaluated in construction or school zones, for example. All tests must be supervised by the state police, include a licensed driver behind the wheel and occur only along routes approved beforehand by state officials.

The program will expire next April 1. All participants, each of whom must arrange for a $5 million insurance policy covering its test fleet, will be required to file a report to the state on all demonstrations and tests no later than March 1.

New York joins 13 other U.S. states and the District of Columbia in legislating some degree of testing of self-driving vehicles on public roadways.