NYC Industrial Park Debuts Self-Driving Car Shuttle Service

Optimus Ride driverless shuttle bus operating in Frankfurt Airport. (C. Suthorn)

Self-driving cars are set to start picking up passengers in a New York City industrial park.

Starting Wednesday, six autonomous shuttles operated by Boston-based startup Optimus Ride will take riders on a loop to a ferry dock in Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The free service is expected to transport some 500 passengers daily on the yard’s internal roads. The company says two employees will ride along at first to ensure the software works properly.

New York’s state legislature passed a bill in 2017 allowing companies to test self-driving cars on public roads, but just a few limited tests have taken place.

Optimus Ride, which has roots at MIT, has already tested cars in the Boston area. It plans to launch similar programs in Virginia and California.