How Will Self-Driving Cars Handle Jaywalkers?

Good morning. It’s Tuesday. Today we’ll look at Mayor Eric Adams’s recently announced plan to allow the testing of self-driving cars on New York City’s streets.

The interior of a Mobileye car featuring self-driving technology in 2021. Most New Yorkers would be familiar with the challenges the vehicle faced on the city’s streets.Credit…Jeenah Moon/Reuters

Anyone who has to navigate New York City’s congested, chaotic streets might wonder whether it makes sense to add self-driving cars to the welter of vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, skateboards and horse-drawn carriages that now crowd the pavement.

But Mayor Eric Adams said last week that it does, adopting a fatalistic tone in announcing that the city was introducing a “robust” application process for autonomous-vehicle testing.

“This technology is coming whether we like it or not,” Adams, an avowed technophile, said, “so we’re going to make sure that we get it right.”

So-called robotaxis have been tested in a number of U.S. cities and now operate in several, but experiments with self-driving technology have been limited in New York.

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