Maybe the biggest smiles of the day were found on the parking lot. Inside a pair of fenced-in lots at Levi’s Stadium were two test tracks. One was for a driverless car presented by AutonomouStuff and the other for a driverless shuttle presented by NAVYA AUTONOM.
Both vehicles were there for, well, hands-off free rides for interested conference-goers. As it turns out, the lines were long for both vehicles, which traveled in a short circle for a series of turns (with a ‘driver’ behind the wheel, just in case) and then back at the start.
It was a big hit.
Trevor Boal, a student at Michigan Tech University, enjoyed his experience on the shuttle.
“It’s cool to see how they’ve been able to integrate all their different technologies and create something that’s able to drive autonomously. As for the future, I think AV is going to be more of a ride-hailing situation.
“In four years or so, it’ll pick up traction. Before everyone has an AV – when people have them in their garages – that’s still multiple decades away, the time when it becomes real commonplace like vehicles today. Before people really accept the notion of a really autonomous car isn’t on the near horizon.”
Tanzeel Kadiani, an engineer at Tesla, was another curious rider. He said the ride went about as he expected but wanted more.
“It was pretty decent on the test track, but to see it on the roads would be more interesting,” he said. “It definitely needs a bit more maturity to see how it would work in the real world, but there’s opportunity there absolutely.”
Part 1: Velodyne LiDAR’s Safety Summit
Part 2: Let’s get it started
Part 3: Look, up in the sky!
Part 4: It’s a learning process
Part 5: And now, what about the DMV?
Part 6: Regulations. Responsibility
Part 7: Watch what you drink
Part 8: The driverless car rides
Part 9: That’s a wrap