New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) Commissioner and Chair Meera Joshi, City Council Member and Technology Committee Chair James Vacca, and City Council Member and Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez today announced the launch of the TLC’s Vehicle Safety Technology (VST) Pilot Program, an extension of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero Action Plan. The TLC is one of three agencies taking lead on Vision Zero, alongside the NYC DOT and the NYPD. The VST pilot’s goal is to explore the ways that in-vehicle technology may be employed to improve driver safety.

The pilot’s initial participants, IonFleets, Inc. and Mobileye, Inc., have installed their systems in a total of ten TLC-licensed vehicles thus far, including yellow medallion taxicabs, Boro (green) Taxis, and for-hire vehicles (liveries and black cars).  Among the installed equipment for this group of pilot participants is a combination of data recorders, driver alerts, in-vehicle camera systems, and related analytic software.  The pilot remains open to additional participants and several technology providers have started the application process.  The TLC will announce additional participants as they come on board.

Data recorders, also known as black boxes, capture and record information on vehicle dynamics such as speed, acceleration, braking, and abrupt turns.  Driver alert systems notify the driver when the system detects unsafe driving factors.  Testing these types of high-tech systems in TLC-licensed vehicles enables the TLC to evaluate the practical applications of the technology and its effectiveness in promoting safe driving practices.  Another of the pilot’s benefits is that it will allow the TLC to evaluate the unique driving conditions found in urban settings such as New York City, and their effects on driving for-hire.

“The VST Pilot Program will give us a bird’s eye view of what is actually happening on the road and the mere presence of a black box will keep drivers mindful of the responsibility they have behind the wheel,” said Commissioner Joshi.  “The data collected by this piloted technology will help the TLC and our industries reinforce good driving practices that will ultimately keep drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists as safe as possible.  Vision Zero’s mission of eliminating traffic fatalities challenges us to explore every option at our disposal to ensure the safety of our shared streets.”

 
“The Taxi and Limousine Commission’s Vehicle Safety Technology Pilot Program is an integral component of Vision Zero.  I recognized the potential of such a program last year when I introduced legislation to mandate a pilot of telemetric technology in TLC’s licensee fleet, and I am thrilled to see it come to fruition,” said Council Member James Vacca, Chair of the New York City Council Committee on Technology, and former Chair of the Committee on Transportation.

“This pilot program is so important because the City will be able to assess which technologies best fit New York City’s diverse fleet of licensed for-hire vehicles.  Testing a wide range of technologies, including black boxes to record vehicles’ movements and alerts to help drivers stay aware of their driving habits, will go a long way in preventing collisions and in encouraging lawful driving behaviors. This technology has the potential to save lives, and I would like to thank Commissioner Joshi for her leadership on this proposal.  I look forward to seeing the results of this important pilot program.”

 
TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi (at podium) and City Council Member and Technology Commission Chair James Vacca.

"With the Vehicle Safety Technology Pilot Program, we are working to ensure that we use the most up-to-date and effective technology to improve road safety, reduce pedestrian deaths and achieve Vision Zero. I applaud Technology Committee Chairman James Vacca and the Taxi and Limousine Commission on working together to ensure that we use innovation to help drivers increase safety,” said New York City Council Transportation Committee Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez.

Those interested in joining this important public/private partnership may visit: http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/industry/veh_safety_tech_pilot_program.shtml

You may also see the pilot’s resolution at:
http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/downloads/pdf/pilot_resolution_black_box_final.pdf

Watch the press conference:
http://livestream.com/nyctaxi/press062215

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