Delphi plans automated-driving journey across the United States

Supplier Wants To Showcase Its Semi-Autonomous Safety Technology

Delphi is attempting to become the first company to pilot an automated car across the United States.

The global automotive supplier will start a cross-country journey from a location near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco starting on Sunday, March 22, and cover approximately 3,500 miles on a trip to New York, where it will arrive sometime during the New York Auto Show.

Along the way, Delphi engineers will gather data on how the car, an Audi SQ5, performs in a variety of road and weather conditions that the company says could only be tested in a real-world environment.

"Delphi had great success testing its car in California and on the streets of Las Vegas," said Jeff Owens, the company's chief technology officer. "Now it's time to put our vehicle to the ultimate test by broadening the range of driving conditions."

A formal announcement is expected tomorrow during the SXSW festival in Austin, TX.

The company recently demonstrated many of its advanced-safety and automated driving technologies during CES, driving in Las Vegas. The cross-country trip will include tests on its radar, vision and advanced-drive assistance systems, certain vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, and intelligent software, which includes automated highway pilot with lane-change technology, automated urban pilot and automated parking functions.

Though a driver will be behind the wheel throughout the journey, Delphi says its active safety technologies can make complex decisions, like stopping and proceeding at four-way stops, timing highway merges and calculating safe maneuvers around bicyclists.

While California has certain motor-vehicle laws that help regulate autonomous vehicles, it was unclear whether Delphi needs special arrangements or permission from other states to conduct automated-vehicle testing elsewhere – or if those concerns might be negated by an active driver.

Earlier this year, Audi turned heads at CES by driving an A7 from San Francisco to Las Vegas in a similar display of automated-driving technology.

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