Audi recently demonstrated the capability of its autonomous car technology by letting one of its self-driving A7 prototypes steer itself from San Francisco To Las Vegas, albeit with a driver behind the wheel to takeover when approaching complex city environments. Now, automotive supplier Delphi is taking on a more ambitious challenge: the first coast-to-coast autonomous road trip.
Making the journey will be an Audi Q5 fitted with numerous autonomous car technologies either being developed by Delphi or already offered by the company. The list includes:
Delphi’s self-driving Q5 will start its journey on March 22 near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and end up in New York, covering more than 3,500 miles in the process. The onboard systems will enable the vehicle to instantaneously make complex decisions, like stopping and then proceeding at a four-way stop, timing a highway merge or calculating the safest maneuver around a cyclist or other object on a city street—abilities most existing autonomous systems are unable to execute.
The stunt will allow engineers to gather critical data for upcoming features as well as improve many that are already available, such as Delphi’s active safety features. The vehicle is expected to be challenged under a variety of driving conditions from changing weather and terrain to potential road hazards, and a licensed driver will be behind the wheel at all times should some human intervention be required.