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An Audi SQ5 fitted out with autonomous driving technology by automotive supplier Delphi is the first self-driving car to complete a US west coast to east coast trek from San Francisco to New York City.

Accompanied by a team of engineers from the Delphi — an automotive supplier spun off, in part, from GM in 1997 — have helped the modified Audi SQ5, dubbed Roadrunner, complete the nine day, roughly 5470km, cross-country trek.

The route from San Francisco to New York City went through the southern states, with the team making overnight stops in Los Angeles; Phoenix, Arizona; El Paso and Dallas, Texas; Jackson, Mississippi; Atlanta, Georgia; Durham, North Carolina; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


On-board equipment includes long-range radar short-range radar sensors at each corner of the car, six LIDAR units and a forward facing camera in the windscreen. There’s also vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communications gear. A central processor ties all these elements together and makes decisions for the car.

The Delphi-modified SQ5 is equipped with automated valet software and is able to drive in urban environments: stopping at traffic lights and stop signs, waiting for pedestrians to cross the street, dealing with highway on-ramps, and so forth.


However, according to CNET, for the cross-country journey, the Delphi SQ5 was limited to highway driving, with the human in the driver’s seat taking over in cities and towns, and for pit stops.

In effect, this journey was a much longer version of the 885km Stanford, California to Las Vegas trip undertaken by the Audi-developed self-driving A7 for this year’s CES.