Delphi Automotive has made history with their specially fitted out Audi SQ5. They have created the first autonomous vehicle to successfully drive across North America – coast to coast – From San Fransisco to New York City. Traveling nearly 3,400 miles, across 15 states, over nine days, with 99 percent of the drive in fully automated mode.
This wasn’t exactly a prelude of a production vehicle, but a way for the Delphi engineers to research and collect information that will help further advance active safety technology. And with an impressive three terabytes of data collected along the drive, its a good bet that it will take them a while to sift through it all.
“Our vehicle performed remarkably well during this drive, exceeding our expectations. 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,” said Jeff Owens, Delphi chief technology officer, talking about the complex driving situations the vehicle encountered. Situations such as traffic circles, construction zones, bridges, tunnels and a variety of weather conditions. The vehicle also had to deal with one situation only a fully autonomous roadway will solve: aggressive drivers.
Equipped with a full suite of advanced technologies and features, many of which are already on the market today including collision mitigation, integrated radar and camera systems, forward collision and lane departure warning. Proving that the biggest impediment to autonomous vehicles in not technological, put political.