SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The creators of the autonomous Audi Q5 are patting themselves on the back after it successfully journeyed from San Francisco to New York sans driver — for the most part. However, there were a few road bumps along the 3,500 mile journey.
First, there were the unfriendly gestures other drivers gave the car because it never exceeded the speed limit. Delphi Corp., the car’s manufacturer, didn’t divulge whether the humans inside the Audi gestured back.
Those humans did have to take the wheel when the car didn’t want to change lanes to avoid police on the shoulder, and another time in a construction zone.
Also, the Audi behaved oddly in the presence of semi-trailer trucks, and kept moving over as far as possible to get out of their way. Humans do that too.
Bright sunlight and rain wrecked havoc on the Audi’s cameras, as did the differing styles of lane stripes — narrow, white, yellow, faded — along the way. Delphi engineers said they will make the necessary tweeks so the car’s eyes can see more clearly.
Even with these glitches, Delphi said the Audi Q5 performed autonomously 99% of the time, and amassed some 3 terabytes of valuable data. They’ll use it make improvements and hope they can get an affordable autonomous system to the market by 2019.