Driving at night is a whole different animal than when daylight provides a backdrop. And we can imagine the challenges faced by autonomous cars to ensure they see well in the dark, even better than those humans with the best of eyesight.
Yet, the latest video from Cruise Automation shows life after the sunset is easily dispatched with its autonomous technology. The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV with prototype driverless technology has no issues buzzing about San Fransisco’s nightlife. Lane changes are completed, pedestrians are spotted and all road rules are obeyed with ease.
The vehicle also recognizes a yellow light and safely comes to a halt, not opting to blow through the intersection as some of us may be guilty of. That’s not before a raccoon darts out in front of the driverless Bolt EV, which it slows down for appropriately.
GM Cruise tests the autonomous Bolt EVs with a “trainer” behind the wheel, but none of the videos provided have shown the autonomous mode disengage for any reason. A second engineer sits in the passenger seat to take notes on the car’s behavior.
Still, we’re waiting for the autonomous technology to weather out some more severe climates, such as major snow, heavy rains and even dense fog. How the technology behaves in those situations will provide essential context for autonomous vehicles’ rollout in areas outside of the sunshine state.