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General Motors to trial self-drive cars in New York

General Motors will start trialling self-driving cars in New York next year.

Cruise Automation, the company's self-driving division, beat out other companies that had applied for the test because they were willing to abide by the tough rules imposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in May, and they think the city's conditions will help them make rapid progress.

Kyle Vogt, CEO of Cruise Automation, said in a statement: "Testing in New York will accelerate the timeline to deploying self-driving cars at scale. New York City is one of the most densely populated places in the world and provides new opportunities to expose our software to unusual situations, which means we can improve our software at a much faster rate."

Gale Brewer, president of the borough of Manhattan, said in a statement: "New York is the ultimate proving ground for autonomous vehicle technology.

"We have a streetscape that is unrivaled in its scale and complexity, and so it's fitting that General Motors and Cruise Automation are finally bringing this technology here for testing and development."

GM will be expected to cover the costs associated with having police and other authorities oversee the tests, and they will also need to insure each of the automated Chevy Volts for $5 million, as well as abide by restrictions such as staying away from construction or school areas.

They will also have to have a driver in the seat at all times in case something goes wrong, as well as a second person in the passenger seat.

The tests will be restricted to a five-square-mile area of lower Manhattan.

They are expected to begin sometime later next year.

Other tests of self-driving vehicles are currently underway in California, Arizona and Pennsylvania.

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