Inclement weather is one of many challenges self-driving cars must face. Torc has been tackling this issue from the very beginning by testing its technology in a myriad of environments, and today we’re releasing video of our vehicle driving through various rainy conditions.
The following are some highlights—in all cases, the safety driver’s hands and feet are off the controls:
- On the first day of our coast-to-coast trip from Washington, D.C., to Seattle, Washington, the team experienced a downpour while navigating through heavy traffic. “In the worst of the West Virginia downpour, the car could see better than we could,” said one of Torc’s safety drivers who participated in the trip.
- Our local tests included autonomous lane changes, passing, and merging on and off highways—all through rain. Torc’s multi-sensor approach used the strength of several sensors (including radar and LiDAR). The sensors have a 360°-view of the cars’ surroundings, and we utilize our proven algorithms along with real-time data to help the car “see” through low visibility.
- Even sunny weather conditions where the roads are wet provide a challenge for autonomous vehicles. The reflective surface distorts the view of lane lines and the road. Despite these visual challenges, Torc’s car performed well. Our team is accustomed to autonomously navigating challenging situations, and we are continually testing and improving the system in inclement weather.
We’re excited to show you this video that captures just a few of the capabilities of our self-driving cars. Our team is on the road everyday, and we will be announcing more capabilities and developments soon.