The car starts, steers safely to its destination 286 kilometers away and stops – all without a human driver.
No, it’s not a scene from some Hollywood sci-fi movie, but an actual event on July 14 over an expressway linking Changsha and Wuhan, the capitals of Hunan and Hubei provinces.
The car, a Hongqi HQ3 with full intellectual property rights developed by the National University of Defense Technology, traveled in daytime, taking only three hours and 20 minutes to finish its trip under full computer and sensor control.
“We only set a maximum speed and then left everything to the car itself,” said Dai Bin, a professor in the research team.
“It knew the speed limits, traffic patterns, lane changes and roads using video cameras and radar sensors to detect other cars. It was all controlled by a command center in the trunk,” Dai said.