Autonomous Vehicle Begins Drive From Italy To China
from the watch-out-on-the-roads... dept
It's not quite the same as the Grand Challenge situation (which had no one in the car, and no lead vehicles or anything like that). In this case, each autonomous vehicle will be following a "lead van." Also, each of the autonomous vehicles will have a "driver" sitting in the driver's seat who is supposed to be able to quickly take over the vehicle should anything go wrong (which sounds like it might be a tougher job than you might imagine, as I would imagine boredom sets in pretty quickly). However, it will also involve real roads with real traffic. In other news, governments between Italy and China are recommending drivers stay off major roads for the next three months...
That said, the folks behind this project admit that "failure is part of the plan." They fully expect problems to arise, and part of the idea is to figure out where those failure points are, so they can work on correcting them. In fact, in a "test drive" before the caravan left, they already experienced problems when a car got between the lead van and the autonomous vehicle in a traffic circle.