An apparently driverless car has been spotted in Washington DC which turned out to be driven by a man dressed as a car seat.
The Smitsonian Magazine website says that reporter Adam Tuss and his team spotted the van and chased after it in a downpour. When they caught up to it at a red light, the van’s driverless technology turned out to be a man dressed in an “elaborate costume”.
It turns out, the car was connected to the university’s driverless car testing, “just not in the way most people thought”.
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute research says it was behind the study and that the driver’s seating area is configured to make the driver less visible within the vehicle, while still allowing him or her the ability to safely monitor and respond to surroundings.
It adds that development of the test vehicle focused on ensuring driver safety and included several months of piloting and testing the vehicle, first in controlled areas, then in low-density areas and finally in an urban area and that all its studies are approved by the Virginia Tech Institutional Review Board, which is charged with the protection of human subjects in research.
You can see the moment the driver is spotted in this tweet. (Picture comes from this tweet)