Port Authority Plans to Test Self-Driving Buses

Transportation officials are looking to self-driving technologies to help New Jersey commuters reach New York City in one of the nation’s busiest bus lanes.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey plans to test the technologies over the next year with a view to easing traffic in its exclusive bus lane, which runs for 2.5 miles between the New Jersey Turnpike and the Lincoln Tunnel.

The eastbound bus lane occupies one westbound lane of New Jersey Route 495 each weekday between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. for buses heading to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. It currently runs at capacity, carrying about 1,850 buses each morning.

The autonomous technology push isn’t aimed at replacing drivers, Port Authority officials say. Instead, it will help drivers merge into the bus lane, better space out vehicles and reduce or avoid collisions.

Port Authority officials estimate that the technologies will eventually allow the agency to squeeze an additional 200 buses—about 10,000 riders—into the peak of the morning rush hour.