Self-driving startup Optimus Ride has launched a self-driving vehicle programme at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York, US.

Brooklyn Navy Yard is a 300-acre industrial park with over 400 manufacturing businesses and more than 10,000 employees onsite.

A total of six autonomous vehicles are expected to carry around 550 passengers a day between the New York City Ferry stop at Dock 72 and the Yard’s Cumberland Gate at Flushing Avenue.

The vehicles will have a safety driver and software operator during the initial stage of operations.

Optimus Ride co-founder and CEO Dr Ryan Chin said: “Launching our self-driving vehicle system in New York at the Brooklyn Navy Yard is yet another validation that not only is Optimus Ride’s system a safe, efficient means of transportation, but also that autonomous vehicles can solve real-world problems in structured environments.

“In addition, our system will provide access to and experience with autonomy for thousands of people, helping to increase acceptance and confidence of this new technology, which helps move the overall industry forward.”

Brooklyn Navy Yard is currently undergoing a $1bn expansion, which is expected to increase the yard’s job total to 20,000 from 10,000 by the end of 2021.

Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation president and CEO David Ehrenberg said: “The Brooklyn Navy Yard’s mission is to serve as a hub of urban innovation and we are constantly looking for new ways to improve the experiences of our tenants and visitors.”

Since its launch in 2015, Optimus Ride has deployed its autonomous vehicle technology in several Boston-area locations and completed more than 20,000 trips.