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JFK Tests Autonomous Vehicle Technology

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) and Navya, a French autonomous mobility company, are holding a demonstration of two-vehicle shuttle platooning at the JFK Aqueduct Parking Lot at John Kennedy International Airport (JFK), the first-of-its-kind at a North American airport.

The three-day demonstration features two eight-passenger electric autonomous vehicle (AV) shuttles in a platoon to simulate how AV technology could serve passengers in the future. Platooning is an important feature for AVs as it allows for multiple autonomous vehicles to travel in unison, significantly increasing the number of passengers who can be transported.

In the future, AVs may be used for short connections that passengers typically make on foot such as first-mile/last-mile trips. For example, trips transporting travelers to the commuter rail station, a distant airport rental car facility, or to and from an AirTrain station to the furthest ends of long-term parking lots would qualify. For the time being, the autonomous vehicles will be operated by an on-board safety operator at all times and supervised by Navya’s control center in Michigan.

“This demonstration is an opportunity to evaluate and test new and emerging technology to improve our customer experience,” said Kevin O’Toole, PANYNJ chairman. “We continue to see the importance of offering customers innovative and world-class services in response to their needs.”