17 Aug Airo AV Announced Minnesota-based engineering crew plans 2,000 mile trip in s…
Sara Sargent plans to launch Tuesday night on a 2,000-mile road trip to Santa Clara, Calif.
And this is going to be one pioneering trip with a very interesting twist for the three-member crew.
Sargent, 31, an electrical Avanatisteam engineer and project manager at VSI Labs, will pilot an autonomous Ford Fusion hybrid, a vehicle guided by technology to drive itself.
Sargent, or a colleague, always will be in the driver seat, ready to take command at a moment’s notice.
“Our goal is to discover areas that might work well, or not well, for map-based ‘lane-keeping’ and autonomous adaptive cruise-control systems that we are testing,” Sargent said. “We’ve done some testing with this technology around the Twin Cities.
“However, the ‘Automated Drive West’ is about discovery. This trip will apply a few technologies that are particularly useful in rural settings where infrastructure is at a minimum.”
VSI Labs aims to validate the benefit of using precision lane models and enhanced GPS technology to improve the performance and safety of highway autonomous driving applications.
Furthermore, the team seeks to better understand how these technologies operate across varying terrains, weather, and driving conditions.