Cruise Automation, the self-driving startup purchased by General Motors last year, has released a clip that shows one of its prototypes navigating the streets of San Francisco without human intervention.
Cruising through the busy environs of Potrero Hill and Mission Dolores, the autonomous Chevrolet Bolt is shown through the magic of picture-in-picture video to complete its journey while navigating through a number of tricky but common situations on the road.
The company claims there was no advance planning for the route, with the film captured in just one take and with no traffic help along the way.
“The operator selected a random destination using the Cruise mobile app, pushed a button, and the vehicle started moving. Rides like this occur hundreds of times per day across our test fleets,” said Cruise Automation CEO, Kyle Vogt.
Among the obstacles encountered by the automated Bolt are a roadworks site in the centre of an intersection, multiple un-lighted crossings, a cyclist crossing its path out of turn, and a left turn across traffic that leaves it having to negotiate the act of going around a double-parked truck.
It is unclear, however, just how smooth the journey was, with the video sped up to achieve a timelapse effect (accommodating short attention spans).
The video was released in support of its report to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), confirming the number of human intervention ‘disengagements’ required through the course of its prototype testing.
Google recently announced its own performance in the report, claiming to have experienced just 0.2 disengagements per 1600 kilometres (1000 miles) with its own autonomous prototypes.