Delphi car driving itself across the country, from CNET.
If there remains any doubt that autonomous cars are on their way, automotive-equipment maker Delphi intends to crush it by letting one of its self-driving research vehicles drive across the country, from San Francisco to New York City. The drive is part research and part publicity stunt, as Delphi will gather 2.3 terabytes of data from the trip, but will also arrive in the Big Apple just in time for the New York International Auto Show, where a gaggle of press is sure to greet it.
Before the car‘s departure on Sunday of this week, Delphi Lab director John Absmeier invited me down to his Mountain View, Calif. facility to talk about the drive and to check out the car. Starting with a production 2015 Audi SQ5, Delphi added a long-range radar unit to the front of the car and four short-range radar units, one at each corner. A camera mounted at the top of the windshield serves as a visual sensor, and six LIDAR sensors help map the environment. High-resolution GPS tells the car where it is in the world.
The car’s “brain,” a processing unit designed by Delphi and driving-algorithm partner Ottomatika, takes the data from these sensors and creates a virtual environment from which it can apply programmed driving behaviors.