NEW YORK — A specially outfitted Audi SQ5 SUV completed the first coast-to-coast trip ever taken by an automated vehicle on Wednesday. The unusual road trip coincided with the 2015 New York Auto Show and ended in the Big Apple.
"Nearly 3,400 miles were covered with 99 percent of the drive in fully automated mode," said Delphi Automotive, which used the drive to research and collect information.
The nine-day trip crossed 15 states and the District of Columbia. Along the way, the SQ5 navigated "complex driving situations," including traffic circles, construction zones, bridges, tunnels, aggressive drivers and a variety of weather conditions.
While fully automated cars are not expected to hit showrooms until around 2020, many of the self-driving SQ5's technologies and features are already on the market today. They include collision mitigation, integrated radar and camera systems and lane-departure warning.
"The knowledge obtained from this trip will help optimize our existing active safety products and accelerate our future product development," said Jeff Owens, Delphi chief technology officer, in a statement on Thursday.
Edmunds says: This is a major milestone in the development of self-driving cars. But while you can't buy one right now, your dealer can show you automated features that are in vehicles now.