Torc recently completed an autonomous cross-country trip in July, and we are thrilled with the results. Our self-driving car and five team members traveled from Washington, D.C., to Seattle, Washington, and were welcomed as the first certified autonomous vehicle test in Washington state. Some members of the Torc team were swapped with new team members for the trip back, which covered a more southerly route. The last stop of the trip was in Richmond, Virginia, where the car was welcomed back by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson.
4,358 Autonomous miles driven
20 States Visited
1-80 mph speed range
During the trip, the Torc team enjoyed beautiful sights, dined at interesting places across the country, and tested the car in a wide variety of road and traffic scenarios. This type of testing is critical for continuously improving how our autonomous system works as we move toward the goal of creating an affordable, robust solution for self-driving commercial cars.
The car drove through heavy rain in West Virginia and even handled a traffic backup in the downpour, stopping appropriately as cars merged before a lane closure.
We started by taking a tour of the landmarks in Washington, D.C., stopping for photos in front of the Capitol Building and beginning our trip with an autonomous drive down Constitution Avenue.
Lane lines differed from crisp and bright to almost nonexistent. The experience was important for the team to observe the system in all types of roads.
The middle of the country offered wide, open roads that stretched for hours of driving. Human drivers can become tired or distracted on a long trip, but a self-driving car is always focused on the road.
As the car entered Washington, it encountered a fair amount of construction, but the vehicle managed the trip through lanes lined by cones and barriers.
The winding roads of the Rocky Mountain region were bordered by giant rocks and steep cliffs, offering an interesting environment to study the self-driving car. It drove through the mountains without incident.
The Torc team was greeted in Seattle by Governor Inslee’s office, and presented with a Washington flag and some of Seattle’s infamous coffee.
Throughout all of Washington state, the view from the road was spectacular.