Former Uber engineer tests new coast-to-coast driving technology

Anthony Levandowski, a fired Uber engineer, has gone on a 3,000 mile (roughly 4800km) journey to test his latest driver assist system that is geared towards the long-haul trucking industry.

According to The Verge, Levandowski, who was the chief engineer behind Uber’s self-driving vehicle unit, designed a camera-based advanced driver assist system (ADAS) that he’s calling Co-Pilot.

Levandowski used the new system to drive from San Francisco to New York without any human assistance.

The article noted that this test has been the “ultimate demonstration” of this type of technology and if he was successful then it would be considered the longest recorded journey of a self-driving car without human interference.

It is reported that he started his drive on a Toyota Prius (attached with seven cameras) on October 26th on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and finished about four days later on the George Washington Bridge in Manhattan.

Levandowski says he sat in the driver’s seat the whole time and did not touch the driving wheel or pedals, except for when he stopped for breaks and to refuel.

He said it took three times to successfully make the trip and has posted a short time-lapse video on Vimeo.

Levandowski is considered controversial in the tech community because of his legal disputes with Uber and self-driving company Waymo.

In February, Levandowski was accused of stealing 14,000 files from Waymo, which pertain to schematics of a circuit board and information about radar and laser navigational tool Lidar.

On January 15th, 2016, Levandowski left Waymo to form Ottomotto, a self-driving vehicle startup, which was later acquired by Uber in August for $680 million USD. Waymo says this stolen technology was subsequently used in Uber’s vehicles.

A judge ruled in favour of Waymo and said Uber was prohibited from using Lidar technology in its self-driving cars.

Image: UC Berkeley Youtube (Screenshot)

Source: The Verge