Auto parts maker Delphi Corp. recently decided to showcase its autonomous technology by getting an Audi Q5 to self-drive for a 3,400-mile US road trip – and it also proved it can do one thing better than humans, that is obey the speed limits.
According to Delphi, the autonomous car, choke full of radars, cameras and laser sensors, was able to journey across 15 states, from San Francisco to New York, and because it mostly traveled on highways it was able to use driverless mode in 99 percent of the time. From the “interesting” journey events, Jeff Owens, Delphi’s chief technology officer, recalled that since the autonomous car was programmed to obey the laws, it never passed the speed limit, even as all other humans did it – claiming “a few hateful gestures” along the way. The human driver had to assume command of the car in a few instances: once when traffic was in a construction area and once more when it failed to enter a busy left lane to pass police that was stationed on the right. The autonomous mode was also “fearful” when passing semi-trailer trucks, keeping the distance in order to avoid them safely.
Owens added they weren’t expecting to complete the journey with such large autonomous numbers, but the car’s artificial intelligence easily got the best of the journey, navigating flawlessly bridges, traffic circles and open highways, even when the weather was bad. Delphi’s engineers will now have a full time sifting through the three terabytes of data – which is like having around 30 percent of all printed material that is housed by the Library of Congress.