Hey, so what's going on in the state budget process other than the fact that the budget itself is late, that it has a watered-down version of Raise the Age and the whole thing has Democrats and the IDC at each other's throats? Well, there's funding for a state fair gondola in the stopgap budget, for one thing. Oh, and the new budget is going to clear the way for self-driving cars to show up on a highway near you.
The Democrat and Chronicle reports that lawmakers added a provision to the state law requiring that a driver keep at least one hand on the wheel at all times to allow for testing of self-driving cars on highways under the "direct supervision of the New York State Police." People who want to test their untrustworthy, robot cars would need approval from the DMV, and after the exception ends in April 2018, the DMV and State Police have to put together a report on what they leaned about the cars.
Earlier this year, the Upstate Transportation Association, a lobbying group for upstate taxi companies, asked Governor Cuomo to ban self-driving cars until the year 2067, presumably because they knew how slim our odds of even reaching that year were. Considering that sources told Albany reporter Zack Fink that Cuomo wanted to ride one down the West Side highway next week (what, FDR's car wouldn't work?) it seems like that was a doomed request.
— Zack Fink (@ZackFinkNews) April 5, 2017
So while it doesn't sound like the streets and highways of New York are going to be full of red light-running precursors to Skynet anytime soon, just be aware that we're moving one step closer. Still, it doesn't seem like there's anything to be afraid of except for the fact that the cars can't go more than a mile without needing a person to step in if you don't want the cars to flip over after minor traffic collisions.