Road Trip: Delphi Style
We have heard for years now that car companies are working on technology that allows a car to drive itself. This technology has been developing and making big strides – Google’s driverless vehicle has been tested over tracks and roadways, and Audi’s car traveled from Silicon Valley to Las Vegas. But the biggest news these days is about Delphi.
Who is this Delphi, you ask? No, it is not the ancient Greek city with the Oracle. Delphi is a UK-based global supplier of technology for automotive and commercial vehicles. They have quietly been developing their own driverless technology over the years, and they just upped the competition.
Last week, Delphi’s Audi SQ5 made a trip from San Francisco to New York City in only nine days. That’s right. Nine. It must be nice to be a car and never get tired.
Delphi said about the trip, “the vehicle encountered complex driving situations such as traffic circles, construction zones, bridges, tunnels, aggressive drivers, and a variety of weather conditions”. The car never went over the speed limit, which did annoy some people, but hey, it was just following the rules. The car also showed some human characteristics while driving. The car avoided moving into crowded lanes and shifted to one side to avoid the massive semis. So one thing we learned is technology can have feelings too.
For safety, of course, the car did have a passenger in the drivers seat to make up for the car’s fears and drive through construction zones, but that only accounted for 50 of the 3,400 miles driven. Otherwise, the Delphi Audi SQ5 is the first driverless car to successfully complete a cross country road trip.
The next steps will include collecting additional data and further working out the kinks in the technology, in addition to considering all the legal ramifications. This is an unprecedented event, and an exciting, futuristic one as well.
Our only question is when are these cars going to be on the market?