Those who live in Blacksburg, Virginia, know that winter weather often happens in waves and there are a handful of significant snowfalls per year. While the snow might not accumulate here as much as in northern states, the area’s mountain roads add an additional challenge for those willing to drive in the conditions.
Our Asimov team took advantage of the winter weather by jumping to the task of taking the self-driving car system out on public roads during all hours of the day and night.
The weather provided challenges such as snow-covered road markings, tracks from previous vehicles that weren’t centered in the lane, frozen precipitation obscuring the roof-mounted cameras, and falling snow that needed to be distinguished from actual objects in the road by the car’s sensor system.
The team overcame these obstacles and autonomously navigated the wintery conditions, driving multiple routes on everything from highways to downtown streets to smaller country roads.
As the self-driving system successfully performed through the complex weather, the team filmed the milestone along the way. This video is compiled from the team’s cameras, cell phones, and Asimov’s roof-mounted camera footage.