The self-driving car heading on a 3,500-mile coast-to-coast trip

the self driving car heading on a 3500 mile coast to trip delphi
Self-driving autonomous cars aren’t yet a part of our daily lives, but the technology is advancing at a rapid rate — multiple research projects across the world are accelerating in scope and speed, and these vehicles will be starting to hit the road in a few short years.

One of the latest and most ambitious autonomous car trials is about to get underway in the U.S., where a vehicle developed by Delphi Automotive will drive itself from San Francisco to New York (around 3,500 miles in total). A human driver is going to be sitting behind the wheel at all times, but won’t interfere unless the car requests help or has to turn off the highway.

The vehicle itself is a customized Audi Q5 kitted out with laser sensors, radar and multiple cameras, and the journey is expected to take about a week to complete. Trials have already taken place at California and the company previously showed off its work at CES earlier this year. The coast-to-coast road trip — believed to be the longest U.S. journey yet for an autonomous car — is now the next step in developing the technology.

Delphi’s team say that driving for several hours a day in varying weather conditions will give it a valuable new bank of data to work with. The Audi A5 being used can already merge onto highways, navigate through four-way junctions, and give room to cyclists, though right now the advanced equipment required puts it out of the price range of the average motorist.

The thought of meeting a self-driving car on the highway might be slightly unnerving, but in the long-term these autonomous vehicles should make the roads safer: They don’t get tired, they don’t get distracted, and (with the right technology installed) they don’t make mistakes. They can also react more quickly to a sudden event than a human driver can.

“Delphi had great success testing its car in California and on the streets of Las Vegas,” says Jeff Owens, Delphi’s chief technology officer. “Now it’s time to put our vehicle to the ultimate test by broadening the range of driving conditions. This drive will help us collect invaluable data in our quest to deliver the best automotive grade technologies on the market.”

The trip gets underway on March 22 and you can follow it via the Delphi website.

Product Review

Volvo’s redesigned 2019 S60 sedan is the best kind of remix

The 2019 Volvo S60 borrows almost everything from other recent Volvo models, but that’s not a problem. From its infotainment system to an available plug-in hybrid powertrain, the S60 takes the best bits from a lineup of great cars.
Cars

Ford imagines a future without traffic lights or stop signs

Ford is using vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) tech to allow cars to pass through intersections without stopping. The experimental "Intersection Priority Management" system basically acts as air traffic control for cars.
Cars

A public/private autonomous driving institute blooms under the Arizona sun

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced the Institute for Automated Mobility (IAM), partnering government, academic, and private organizations to develop self-driving tech and safety standards. Intel is the first private-sector member.
Cars

Watch this driverless Range Rover tackle one of U.K.’s ‘most challenging roads’

Jaguar Land Rover just sent its autonomous Range Rover Sport vehicle onto one of the U.K.'s "most challenging road layouts," and the automaker has posted a video online showing exactly how it fared.
Emerging Tech

New ‘parkour’ video shows Boston Dynamics robot training to overthrow humanity

Robots doing backflips? That's so 2017! In its latest jaw-dropping YouTube video, Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot pulls off some frankly astonishing parkour stunts for our viewing pleasure.
Emerging Tech

With VR dinosaurs and ‘Minecraft,’ one hospital is making medicine less scary

From augmented reality rabbits on the wards to a Minecraft recreation of the hospital for kids to explore, one of the world's most renowned children's hospitals just got a major tech overhaul.
Emerging Tech

Will we ever fly supersonic again? Unraveling the concorde’s complex legacy

In a new book, Last Days of the Concorde, journalist and author Samme Chittum delves into the mindset that inspired engineers to design this marvel, the series of events that led to its fatal crash, and the possibility that commercial SSTs…
Emerging Tech

Check out the British Army’s beefy new bomb-disposal robot

The British Army is about to get an impressive new explosive ordnance disposal robot that is able to climb stairs, negotiate slopes, cut wires, and … oh, yes, dispose of bombs, too.
Emerging Tech

Kill it before it lays eggs! Crazy 32-leg robot moves like a cyborg sea urchin

We’ve seen one-legged, two-legged, four-legged and even six-legged robots, but researchers from Japan have gone way, way further with their latest project: A 32-legged robot. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

Leafy greens are grown by machines at new, automated Silicon Valley farm

Farming hasn't changed too much for hundreds of years. Now a new startup called Iron Ox has opened its first automated hydroponics farm, producing a variety of leafy greens tended by machines.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

As deaf gamers speak up, game studios are finally listening to those who can’t

Using social media, personal blogs and Twitch, a small group of deaf and hard-of-hearing players have been working to make their voices heard and improve accessibility in the gaming industry.
Emerging Tech

From flying for fun to pro filmmaking, these are the best drones you can buy

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Emerging Tech

Get your head in the clouds with the best vaporizers for flower and concentrates

Why combust dead plant matter when you could vaporize the good stuff and leave the leaves behind? Here's a rundown of the best vaporizers money can buy, no matter what your style is.