Autonomous Vehicles in New York City

NYC DOT encourages innovation by facilitating the responsible testing of new technologies and services that may contribute to a safer, more equitable, more sustainable, and more efficient transportation system. Autonomous vehicles (AVs), also known as self-driving cars, could support these goals.

NYC DOT oversees the testing of autonomous vehicles on streets and highways within the City of New York through our AV testing permit program.

Autonomous Vehicle Demonstration or Testing Permit Program

Applicants may apply to test AVs anywhere in New York City, understanding that the city presents some of the most challenging urban street environments for an AV to navigate.

To protect public safety and ensure AV testing does not unduly impede traffic flow, pedestrian and cyclist movement, transit service, or emergency response, NYC DOT will work with each applicant over the course of the application process to:

  • Understand the competencies of their AV technology;
  • Review the scope of their proposed testing plan;
  • Review their test vehicle operator training program; and
  • Discuss their company approach to safety, particularly as demonstrated through previous urban testing experience.

New York State law requires that a test vehicle operator be present and ready to assume control of the vehicle while the AV technology is in operation.

Application Process

Entities seeking to test AVs in New York City must:

  1. Obtain an Autonomous Vehicle Technology Demonstration / Testing Permit from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYS DMV)
  2. Apply for an NYC DOT Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permit

Additional Requirement for Taxis and For-Hire Vehicles

Entities and test vehicle operators utilizing AVs in for-hire transportation services must comply with the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission’s (TLC) rules and regulations, including obtaining a TLC license.