The Self Driving Bus

If you are in or around the Brooklyn Navy Yard and want to get to the East River Ferry, you can have a self driving car take you there.

I did that yesterday:

It’s sort of like a van. There are six passenger seats in the vehicle rand I saw four of them lined up waiting for passengers next to the main gate off Flushing and Cumberland.

There is a driver in the front seat but the van drives itself. That takes some of the excitement factor down a notch. But it increases the comfort factor. I assume the driver can take control of the vehicle and drive it manually if necessary.

It makes a ton of sense that autonomous vehicles would start out in places like the Navy Yard where there is not a lot of vehicle traffic and the map is fairly simple.

If you want a taste of the future go over to the Navy Yard and get a ride. It’s free.

And while you are there check out the amazing new Dock 72 building next to the East River Ferry stop. They are leasing it up now and there are some great office spaces still available there. They have smaller offices for startups. Link here.

#machine learning#NYC#robots and drones#Uncategorized

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Great tip.Will do this via Ferry this weekend.

  2. kenberger

    The area is notoriously not served by subway (closest one is 17 minute walk), so it’s interesting that maybe this piece of Brooklyn winds up more closely tied to manhattan.Similar story to Red Hook.

    1. awaldstein

      Good point.Love ferries but still hard to use them as a daily commute especially if you live on the West side as the East and West side ferries don’t connect as yet which is too crazy.

      1. kenberger

        yeah that’s the issue traded for: you still have to solve the “first mile”, and get from your home to the water… I can tell you that this has been largely solved in places like Berlin (where I am) by the multitude of e-scooter offerings, massive game changer although doesn’t help when with your kid or in bad weather.But “multi-modal” is a very big deal and a game changer in lots of places. GMaps is starting to show more multi-modal options, giving you the best combo of route configurations to get from A to B.

        1. awaldstein

          Yup…Live in TriBeCa so its a 10 minute walk to the Ferries to get to Jersey.To get to Wall Street Pier, it’s a 15 minute City Bike and from there you can get everywhere.As you say, in the winter not so good.Best answer is of course, connect the Ferry lines.

      2. fredwilson

        I love ferries too and took this to the ferry that took me to Manhattan. I just needed a self driving bus on the other side

        1. awaldstein

          how cool to have the same combo of ferry/self driving to get us to La Guardia?

          1. kenberger

            better than Uber Copter!…and remember in the 70s when they had heli-service from the Pan Am building??

          2. awaldstein

            though we will have uber copters for i bet less than $150 a trip a generation before we do it by water unfortunately!took our bikes on the ferry to the Bronx last month to explore and you literally go right by LGA.

          3. Pointsandfigures


        2. Susan Rubinsky

          The ferries are my favorite part about about NYC. I’ll take the ferry any day over the subway.

          1. awaldstein

            Agree one of the best new things about the city.In some cases it is a choice, like going from Manhattan to Brooklyn but they are synergistic they do not replace each other

          2. Pointsandfigures

            They smell better

          3. awaldstein

            Love them when schedule is not tight.Only way I go to Brooklyn and even when I want to walk the park from the top, take a ferry from Wall St to E 90th.jump on a city bike and ride to the top of the park to start.

  3. Vendita Auto

    That’s how to make America great again … hope Greta Thunberg gets on board

  4. Mike

    Really like the vibe of old industrial waterfront areas. Close proximity to downtown but not quite in the middle of it if that is what you are looking for.

  5. Mac

    Who makes this vehicle?

      1. Mac

        Then, you’re saying it WILL collect dust.

        1. jason wright

          🙂 Multitasker bus. Sweeps up venture capitalists my the half dozen.

          1. Mac

            Thus, it gets A-round on its own.

          2. jason wright

            Yes, and i think that’s why Fred likes it so much. This bus reminds him of a golf cart.

  6. jason wright

    https://fabulos.euWhat are those three things sticking out of the side of the vehicle at bicycle handlebar height?

  7. William Mougayar

    These are good baby steps for what’s to come in the mainstream later. I had a similar encounter last year in Vienna where they had a self-driving bus serving the university campus. Also there’s one in Paris. They are springing almost everywhere now, and China is ahead in usage with bigger buses on regular routes In Shenzhen. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

    1. awaldstein

      Where in Paris?

      1. Pointsandfigures

        Self driving to the natural wine shop. No worries then!

        1. awaldstein


      2. William Mougayar

        Hmm… it was a test I believe near La Defense.

        1. awaldstein

          Thanks. I will be there within a month and will search for it.Excited to visit one of my projects in the Ubisoft Blockchain incubator in Paris.

  8. Girish Mehta

    Off-topic, but since you posted on NYC. Today, Sep 19th, 38 years ago, this happened.This, by Art Garfunkel (and Richard Tee on piano), is one of the great live performances.

    1. BillMcNeely

      Concert in Central Park?

      1. Girish Mehta


    2. Salt Shaker

      I was there stage right, guest of HBO (who was televising). Next free concert in CP was Diana Ross. There were many assaults by rogue teens. Was actually a bit scary. The park’s Commissioner, Henry Stern, banned concerts in the park for quite a while, sans the Philharmonic.

      1. Salt Shaker

        I stand corrected. I was stage right at the HBO Paul Simon Central Park concert in 1991, not the S&G show 38 yrs. ago. Bugging me all day and finally figured it out. Not sure I could have gotten a school pass to attend the S&G show 38 yrs ago 🙂

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  9. gmalov

    That’s so cool, can’t wait to experience my first self-driving experience. Apparently, transportation is about to change, and I’m impressed with how quickly this is happening in New York, I would have expected more pushback but that probably explains the driver still being in the vehicle, which helps avoid the job loss issue.

  10. Richard

    Was it electric or nlg ?

  11. jason wright

    Another Lego building.

  12. aminTorres

    Trying to remove some of the hair on the deal? 😉 Was there this weekend and saw them, wife works there. love the ww building.

  13. JLM

    .This is real and it’s happening. Wow!Very cool.This is also going to cut down on vehicle theft. If the vehicle gets stolen, it can just drive itself home.How long before the homeless in NYC discover their new warm home on wheels?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  14. sigmaalgebra

    Let’s keep this clear, real, and just dirt simple: Cities used to have trolley car tracks and cars on the tracks. Now those are gone. It is essentially the same for “self-driving” vehicles — they are essentially on tracks, electronic instead of steel. So, the self-driving cars will go the way of the trolley cars.”Self-driving” is hype, a flim flam, fraud scam. In NO SIGNIFICANT way are they “self-driving”. Here’s solid evidence of why not: At times driving on current roads with current traffic requires a good fraction of human sensory abilities, a LOT of uniquely human intelligence, and a LOT of human intelligence otherwise. Real self-driving would be way too close to full human level artificial intelligence, and that is too far away to be seen even by the Hubble telescope.Sooooo, “self-driving” will be a lot like trolley cars except on essentially electronic tracks.And WITH electronic tracks, self-driving can work and does work in some special and highly restricted circumstances, e.g., warehouses, open pit mining, and more.Before the “self-driving” scam gets too far, there will be enough grim accidents, with human injuries and deaths, to have the insurance companies and the politicians put a STOP to it.Then another media hyped, flim flam fraud scam bites the dust until, in less that 24 hours, the media and various charlatans stir up yet another one.

  15. Rick Mason

    Detroit was the first city in America to do it, but only if you’re a Bedrock employee. Couldn’t locate it but I believe GM has a similar service for their employees downtown to shuttle to a parking garage.

  16. Pointsandfigures

    CEO of GM says at least 20-30 years for it to be everywhere in America. Have to rip up and re-engineer roads not to mention cars and insurance