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As we drove to look at the rally electric cars

Some time ago in Italy (or rather at the University of Parma), a project was launched to develop autonomous electric robots. The goal of the project is to create a car capable of charging from a regular outlet and driving on general roads completely autonomously (without drivers). Recently, the first prototypes were created and the Italy-Hungary-Ukraine-Russia-Kazakhstan-China motor rally was organized (maybe I missed some other countries). The idea behind the rally is to test prototypes plus the popularization of electric transport plus work to improve the autopilot. In principle, you could already hear about this project, because you didn’t write about it anywhere . But it was all theory. And it’s interesting to see it with your own eyes. And here a small column of prototypes of such cars recently passed by my city. Sin was not to look!

In principle, we had a simple plan - there is a “Live Tracking” on the project site, in theory it is possible to find out the coordinates of the machines at any time and “catch them” when traveling nearby. Practically it turned out that the coordinates change about once an hour and, given the average speed of these electric vehicles (40 km / h), we had to guess their position and eventually chase them 30 kilometers. (Special thanks to the person who made the page with the coordinates 1.5 MB in weight, which made it impossible to open it from a mobile phone in the communication mode “tower in the field of devils where”).

The observations were as follows:

1. The column consists of 2 electric vehicles and 4 (or 5) escort vehicles responsible for charging, repair, communication, etc. The differences in quantity are due to the fact that one of the cars was separate from the column and led, as it seemed to us, video filming. Or maybe we thought.
2. The cars look exactly the same as on the project website . Exactly the same bunch of cameras, sensors, lasers, etc. On the sides.
3. Drivers were driving both cars, although in some announcements it was argued that the cars drive very well. The driver of the first car kept his hands on the wheel. It is not very clear whether he was driving a car or just in case he was insuring the autopilot. The driver of the second car defiantly while driving held the camera in his hands, straightened the external sensors, waved our hands, etc., trying in every way to show that the car was driving by itself, “without hands”. This is explained by the fact that the first machine “paves the way” - on the basis of GPS, cameras, lasers, radars and other things it builds a route that can be manually adjusted by the driver. And the second machine, besides all the above, also gets the track first and watches it.
4. People are friendly, they smiled at us, waved, got off the speed a little to give us a pofotkat and shoot a video. Stop, however, did not. But it is understandable - they have a schedule.
5. A large Gazprom logo hangs on escort vehicles. At first, it was a little surprised where Gazprom came to Italian electric cars, but then we came to the conclusion that these were mobile diesel generators for recharging in the field. Pruflinka, however, no. Maybe just a sponsor.
6. The cars move in a sine wave from the edge of the track to the dividing line and back. Sinusoid almost constant period. It is a little strange to see such a trajectory of movement - the driver-person would try to keep straight.
7. In electric cars there are cameras that broadcast live video to the Internet from time to time. Not always, they save traffic (which they honestly confess), but you can look at the track. A man is sitting behind the camera who, when passing by some Zaporozhets or Muscovite, zooms out a camera on him and in Italian admires the flight of Russian automotive scientific thought.
8. No noise. Well, or almost no noise.
9. I really wanted to see how electric cars will pass traffic lights, transitions, turns, etc. but the nearest such facilities were 70 km of the road, and we just ran out of gas and free time.
10. They recognized the people's omen: if you stand on the track in a blue shirt with a video camera in your hands you can see a lot of cars braking in front of you. :)

Tonight cars came to Kiev. On the website they write that they were driving on autopilot even a little around the city. Tomorrow, on August 5th, they have a mega-event in Kiev. You can come to see this miracle live. Journalists even roll.

Project site
A couple of our pictures

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/101018/

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