Delphi Completes Coast-to-Coast Automated Drive
Fully Autonomous Audi SQ5 Drives From San Francisco to New York City
Delphi Automotive PLC completed the longest automated drive in North America yesterday when its Audi SQ5 test mule rolled into New York City after leaving San Francisco on March 22. The manned autonomous Audi did 99 percent of the driving, with Delphi’s onboard engineers stepping in only occasionally.
“Our vehicle performed remarkably well during this drive, exceeding our expectations,” said Jeff Owens, Delphi chief technology officer. The Delphi Audi encountered traffic circles, construction zones, a variety of weather conditions, and aggressive drivers, dispatching each occurrence without incident. Owens said the knowledge obtained from the trip would help the company refine its current and future products, delivering “unsurpassed automotive-grade technologies to our customers.”
The automated SQ5 is equipped with four short-range radars, three vision-based cameras, six lidars, a localization system, and more software coding than our squishy grey matter can comprehend. The radar and lidar complement the conventional cameras, providing a three-dimensional view of the world around the Audi, including other motorists, pedestrians, obstacles, lane markings, and traffic control devices. Each system is key to keeping the vehicle on the road and operating safely, and watching it all come together in Delphi’s promotional videos, embedded in playlist form below, is pretty impressive.
Many of the technologies on the Delphi Automated Drive are commercially available. Radar-based cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and prevention, and automatic collision mitigation braking use a variety of cameras, sensors, and equipment to function properly. The Delphi SQ5 is therefore a test bed, not only for future autonomous vehicles, but also for present-day safety and convenience technology.
The Delphi automated vehicle underwent extensive evaluation and testing in California and Nevada before it was thrown into the cross-country drive.