The future of autonomous, driverless cars looks just a little bit more exciting after this weekend. Okay, it looks a lot more exciting.
Engineers working for the company Delphi – a leading electronic car parts manufacturer – successfully completed a very impressive feat.
This team of Delphi employees was able to take an Audi SQ5 from California to New York in just nine days, covering 3,400 miles of the American countryside.
Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention that they completed the journey in a car that was driving itself. No big deal. Delphi was able to make the cross-country journey with the car driving itself approximately 99% of the time, and the accomplishment has the future of driverless vehicles looking more realistic and imminent than ever before.
Leaving California nine days prior, Delphi’s Audi SQ5 arrived in New York City today, just in time for the New York Auto Show. Delphi’s road trip did exactly what they sought out to do – it proved that the future of driverless cars will soon be the present.
The company isn’t stating that the road trip was flawless, however. Apparently there were a few small issues, such as the autonomous car refusing to reroute to avoid a construction zone, some tight passes around semi trucks, and an adherence to the speed limit that really irritated some more aggressive motorists who encountered the car.
While the technology is not perfect and certainly still needs a few important refinements, Delphi’s experiment was a rousing success; one that showed that the technology for fully autonomous cars is very close to being not just possible but practical and desirable.
Whether you see driverless cars become ubiquitous or irrelevant remains to be seen in the coming years. But the futuristic concept is much closer than most of us think. Stay tuned!