General Motors plans to test vehicles in fully autonomous mode in New York City in early 2018, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The planned testing by GM and its self-driving unit, Cruise Automation, will be the first by a Level 4 autonomous vehicle in the state, Cuomo said in a statement.

A level 3 car still needs a steering wheel and a driver who can take over if the car encounters a problem, while level 4 promises driverless features in dedicated lanes.

A level 5 vehicle is capable of navigating roads without any driver input and in its purest form would have no steering wheel or brakes.

GM and Cruise Automation will begin conducting tests in Manhattan with an engineer in the driver's seat to monitor the performance, and a second person in the passenger seat, the statement said. 

“The spirit of innovation is what defines New York, and we are positioned on the forefront of this emerging industry that has the potential to be the next great technological advance that moves our economy and moves us forward,” Cuomo said.