Delphi’s autonomous SUV made a trip from San Francisco to New York City, crossing 15 states and the District of Colombia in 9 days. The car managed 99% of the driving on its own, yielding to its human driver only when it left highways, making this the longest automated drive in America so far.
While infrastructure and legislature is still needed to make self-driving cars a reality for everyday folks, the technology is getting very close. The Delphi autonomous car encountered many challenging traffic events, such as bridges, tunnels, construction zones, traffic circles, and aggressive drivers.
In the 11 years since autonomous vehicle technology has been around, the technology has advanced from being able to travel just over 7 miles before catching fire to an easily-completed cross-country trip. Delphi isn’t the only company that had the capabilities to complete the journey, either, they were just the first ones to undertake it. Google, Mercedes, and Audi all have autonomous vehicles who’s technology would be up for the task.
Will autonomous cars be commonplace in 15 years? If the progression of the last 11 years is anything to show for it, that could be a more realistic goal than one would think.