While Google tests whether its autonomous vehicles can navigate the suburban streets of Mountain View, Calif., an auto-parts maker named Delphi has reportedly pulled off something much larger: rebuilding an Audi SQ5 into a self-driving vehicle and having it take a road trip from San Francisco to New York City.
Delphi claims that the car drove itself 99 percent of the time, albeit with a driver at the wheel ready to take over for unexpected situations (as seen above). The human driver also navigated the vehicle through any tricky city streets.
According to CNN, the trip totaled 3,400 miles. As Wired pointed out, the remarkable thing wasn’t that a car drove itself across the United States, but that the underlying technology for autonomous driving has reached the point where even smaller companies can build a self-driving vehicle that won’t crash into the nearest wall. And if technology has reached that point, how long until we see lots of self-driving cars on the road?
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