Recently a self-driving car developed in the San Francisco Bay Area completed a cross country trip between San Francisco and New York City. The car is question has been manufactured by Delphi Automotive. The car model used for this test drive was Audi Q4 SUV, a vehicle that is fondly referred to as the Roadrunner.
The Roadrunner comes equipped with a series of advanced features. The vehicle model used for the test drive contained all those features and some more. It was basically a modified version of the Audi Q4 SUV; it carried laser rangefinders, cameras and several high-tech goodies for allowing the car to watch the road without any hindrance. To put it more bluntly, Delphi Automotive embedded some extra features into the car to make it a perfect self-driving vehicle.
The distance covered by the driverless car during this cross country drip is 3,400 miles. It was a nine-day long trip than began from San Francisco and ended in New York City last Tuesday.
The team taking part in this trip had to acquire autonomous car licenses for driving through different states. In addition, it also needed to alert all the states it planned to visit. For those who don’t know: the team rode along more than a dozen states including Mississippi, Texas, California and New York.
This recently concluded trip can really be termed as a perfect driverless trip as 99% of the drive was completed in self-driving mode. A Delphi spokesman, when explaining the matter, informed that a human driver needed to take over when construction or police blocked the road causing serious congestion. Doing this was necessary for saving time.
During the trip, Delphi managed to test several components of its vehicle. The company also successfully gathered some extremely useful real world data that would give its driverless vehicle research a perfect direction.
Delphi is definitely not the only company to work on self-driving cars. There are a number of other automakers that are working on similar projects. What makes Delphi special is that it is the first company to organize such a trip. However, there are high possibilities that soon other vehicle makers will also start organizing driverless cross country trips following the footsteps of Delphi.