As self-driving car tests go a 1200 mile trek across the congested roads of China has to be one of the most challenging. Despite those possible difficulties the self-driving car completed the epic journey.
The autonomous car was being tested as part of a push to create a more self-reliant car system by 2020. This vehicle was made and tested by Ford's partner in China, Chongqing Changan Automobile.
The journey took a total of six days, starting in Chongqing and ending in Beijing. The car was equipped with radar and camera systems to allow it to drive itself.
According to the automaker the car was able to carry out automatic lane cruising meaning it could speed up and slow down with other cars. It also managed lane-keeping and changing on varying roads. There was also assisted driving during congestion. The company also said the car was able to speed up and slow down based on road sign recognition as well as voice commands from in the car.
Most of these technologies have been shown off before. Indeed many of them are available in cars on the road today. But to carry out a 1200 mile journey through unplanned eventualities in a real world scenario is an encouraging step towards and more intelligent self-driving future.
That future is planned to arrive by 2020.