About two weeks ago, we posted this news article regarding the cross-country trip that one of Delphi's driverless cars was about to make, from San Francisco to New York City-the longest and most data-infused trip that any automated vehicle was to undertake yet.
Last week, the Delphi vehicle, which is an extremely technologically-enhanced Audi Q5 crossover, traveled over 3,000 miles in nine days through a variety of terrain and environments, from deserts and forests to cities and small towns.
In total, the excursion taken on by the driverless car involved crossing over 15 states and experiencing extraordinary traffic situations such as construction zones, bridges, tunnels, varying weather conditions, and other drivers, some of whom were aggressive. To properly monitor and ensure that the vehicle behaved like it is supposed to (and did not pose any risks of collisions or wrecks with other vehicles), a team of engineers road along inside the car for the entirety of the journey.
The automobile parts and most of the advanced technology incorporated into the vehicle were supplied by Delphi, while Israel's Mobileye, a technology company that creates and manufactures safety systems that detect and alert drivers of imminent dangers or obstacles, supplied the "eyes" of the vehicle using radar, vision, and Advanced Drive Assistance Systems (ADAS). Mobileye's safety technology already comes standard on many new vehicle models across the country, and newer models containing this safety system can detect obstacles like road debris, cyclists, pedestrians, barriers, and read traffic lights and signs. The newer version of this system is installed in the "Roadrunner" vehicle, along with a number of cameras and radar.
The Roadrunner collected extremely valuable data that will allow engineers and technicians to optimize and strategically edit these safety technology systems to eventually be widespread incorporated into a number of automobile makes and models. So far, this article confirms that Chrysler, Ford, BMW, GM, Peugot, Nissan, Volvo, Tesla, and several trucking companies have deals with Mobileye to receive this technology on their automobiles in the near future.
The Roadrunner made impeccable timing at the end of the trip, by arriving in New York just in time for the auto show.