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Self-driving cars in Boston going citywide with nuTonomy tests

Though it’s not clear when you’ll actually be able to take one

Photo via nuTonomy press kit

Boston has cleared Cambridge-based nuTonomy to start testing its self-driving cars citywide. The four-year-old firm has been testing the vehicles in the Seaport District for nearly 18 months, logging some 600 urban miles without an accident.

In a statement announcing the approval, Mayor Marty Walsh cited the potential for nuTonomy’s cars to improve mobility for residents, including via better connecting people with T stops. The company is the first to win citywide testing approval for public roadways.

It is unclear when such widespread testing will commence, though. The company has to obviously be careful about turning its driver-less vehicles loose without mapping different areas so as to properly align sensors and such.

Nor is it clear when Boston residents might hail a nuTonomy car. The company has reportedly run two passenger tests—in other words, passenger but no driver—including with ride-hailing app Lyft. Those may or may not continue. Stay tuned.