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New York State Gives The Green Light to Audi Autonomous Car Testing

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2018 Audi Q5When the press writes about self-driving cars being tested, it seems as if most of the driving is occurring in California and other western states due to their proximity to Silicon Valley, or in Michigan because it is the heart of America’s automotive industry. Now that autonomous cars are coming closer, more states encourage testing on their roads. Today, it was announced that Audi has become the first automaker to get permission to test drive its autonomous vehicles in the state of New York.

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While one of the first places anyone thinks of in that state is New York City, Audi stated that it plans to begin test driving its vehicles in Albany. According to its request with the state, Audi will be testing technology graded by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) as a level three. This is also known as “Conditional Automation,” where the automated driving system is expected to navigate and can handle highway speeds, but a human driver is needed for when the car requests help or information. When testing the car, Audi will have two engineers in the vehicle to monitor readings from the system and drive the car if necessary.

Audi’s first spot in line for autonomous cars in New York is a testament to the preparation of the German auto brand, as the state only just opened applications earlier this month. New York’s budget for the 2018 fiscal year has room in it for autonomous car technology testing during a one-year pilot. After a year, the state will evaluate the program before moving forward. Besides permission from the state itself, Audi had to get its driving route approved by the New York State Police and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

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“We have been leading the way in the development of piloted driving technology for more than a decade now, and testing in real-world environments is a key step in our pursuit of safer roads,’’ said Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America. “We applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership and stand ready to assist in defining how this future will unfold in the Empire State now and for years to come.”

As more information is revealed about Audi’s self-driving efforts in New York, we will fill you in.

Automation Level Information: SAE