Self-Driving Car Aims for First Cross-U.S. Road Trip

A self-driving car outfitted with Delphi technologies readies for a 5600-kilometer road trip

1 min read
Self-Driving Car Aims for First Cross-U.S. Road Trip
Photo: Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Cross-country road trips could be so much more fun without arguments about whose turn it is to get behind the wheel. A self-driving car aims to test that idea by making the 5600-km drive from San Francisco to New York City with a few human passengers tagging along for the ride.

The latest robotic car demonstration doesn’t come from Google or one of the many car manufacturers working on self-driving cars. Instead, it’s the brainchild of Delphi Automotive, a company that develops technologies for automotive components. Delphi transformed a 2014 Audi SQ5 luxury SUV, according to Wired. The vehicle, which Delphi debuted at CES 2015, includes four short-range radars, three vision-based cameras, and six lidars, among other systems. The vehicle will set out on its eight-day journey starting on 22 March.

Self-driving cars have already covered hundreds of thousands of kilometers during road tests by Google and other companies. But the cross-country road trip could provide terabytes of information for Delphi’s sensors that would help the company improve the software and hardware needed for autonomous vehicles.

A growing interest in smart car and self-driving vehicle technologies has spelled good business for Delphi. The company made $1.4 billion in 2014 from selling technologies such as active safety features that automatically keep cars from drifting across lanes or that brake faster than humans can react.

The self-driving car aims to cover the cross-country trek by driving within the speed limit for about eight hours a day. Humans will take over the steering wheel whenever the car gets off the highway. If everything stays on schedule, the car and its occupants should arrive in New York City just in time for the New York International Auto Show, which begins on 3 April.

Follow the trip at @DelphiAuto #DelphiDrive.

The Conversation (0)

How Software Is Eating the Car

The trend toward self-driving and electric vehicles will add hundreds of millions of lines of code to cars. Can the auto industry cope?

14 min read
ZF Friedrichshafen AG

Predictions of lost global vehicle production caused by the ongoing semiconductor shortage continue to rise. In January, analysts forecast that 1.5 million fewer vehicles would be produced as a result of the shortage; by April that number had steadily climbed to more than 2.7 million units, and by May, to more than 4.1 million units.

The semiconductor shortage has underscored not only the fragility of the automotive supply chain, but placed an intense spotlight on the auto industry’s reliance on the dozens of concealed computers embedded throughout vehicles today.

Keep Reading ↓ Show less