With companies like Google, Tesla, and others working on driverless cars, it’s probably only a matter of time before we see them on our everyday commutes. While tests have been somewhat limited to date, one would expect that Google and other auto manufacturers would be stepping up and testing longer drives. That wasn’t the case though as automotive technology company Delphi beat them to the punch with the assistance of Audi.
Travelling from San Francisco to New York, the Audi SQ5 equipped with six long-range radars, four short-range radars, three vision-based cameras, six lidars, a localization system, intelligent software algorithms and a full suite of Advanced Drive Assistance Systems made the nearly 3,400 mile journey without incident. Some of the equipment in the vehicle is already available on the market, including integrated radar and camera systems, collision mitigation, forward collision and lane departure warning. A rotating group of Delphi engineers was behind the wheel for the entire trip in case they needed to take over from the automated system. Delphi notes that 99 percent of the drive was completed in fully automated mode.
“Our vehicle performed remarkably well during this drive, exceeding our expectations,” said Jeff Owens, Delphi chief technology officer. “The knowledge obtained from this trip will help optimize our existing active safety products and accelerate our future product development, which will allow us to deliver unsurpassed automotive grade technologies to our customers.”
During the drive which crossed 15 states, nearly 3 terabytes of data was collected by the company for further research and analysis. The vehicle encountered many different driving situations including construction zones, aggressive drivers, traffic circles, tunnels, bridges, and a variety of weather conditions.
Check out clips from the nine day voyage below and let us know what you think about driverless cars in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook. Are you ready to use, or drive in traffic with, self-driving cars?