Self-Driving Vehicle Testing Back On In Boston

nutonomy self-driving car boston autonomous vehicle


BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Last week, officials in Boston asked Optimus Ride and nuTonomy, two local companies, to temporarily suspend their self-driving tests in the Seaport District after an autonomous vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona.

Now, those tests are back on.

Mayor Marty Walsh spoke to WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Wednesday about the decision to allow the tests again.

"We're going to continue to work on this pilot," Walsh said. "We're going to make sure there's safety precautions in place, clearly monitor the situation closely, just to make sure no one gets hurt in and around the area where we're testing."

Boston Asks 2 Self-Driving Car Companies To Pause Testing - Thumbnail Image

Boston Asks 2 Self-Driving Car Companies To Pause Testing

Gina Fiandaca, head of the city's Transportation Department, had issued a statement last week calling on the companies nuTonomy and Optimus Ride to temporarily stop operations on the city's public streets.

The decision came after a woman was killed in Tempe, Arizona by a self-driving car owned by ridesharing company Uber.

That crash, which appears to be the first fatal crash involving a self-driving car, led to backlash--including from Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, who said it "underscores why we need to be exceptionally cautious when testing and deploying autonomous vehicle technologies on public roads."

Self Driving Car Kills Pedestrian In Arizona - Thumbnail Image

Self Driving Car Kills Pedestrian In Arizona

The mayor said the technology is evolving.

"This, potentially, is the wave of the future--so we want to make sure that when autonomous vehicles come to Boston and come to Massachusetts, it's not the first time that they're learning it," Walsh said. "I think we have to continue to explore the options here."

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports

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