Watch What Happens When a Self-Driving Car Encounters Rain at Night
Spotting a self-driving car navigating the streets in Silicon Valley or San Francisco isn’t that unusual anymore. Spend 10 minutes near a busy intersection in Mountain View, Calif., and a self-driving car from Waymo or another startup will likely pass by.
Nighttime sightings are far more rare. And if it’s raining, they’re even more noteworthy.
Drive.ai, an autonomous vehicle tech startup founded by former graduate students working in Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab, recently achieved both feats. The Mountain View-based startup, which came out of stealth mode in August, released a video Tuesday showing its self-driving car safely navigating an urban environment on a rainy night.
It’s the startup’s first public video of its activities. Drive.ai is focused on developing deep learning software—a sophisticated form of artificial intelligence—and applying it to everything a self-driving car does from recognizing objects to making decisions.
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Drive.ai co-founder and CEO Sameep Tandon says driving at night, in the rain, or in other complex situations is possible because of the company’s unique deep learning technology that processes information and makes decisions much like the human brain does. “Our technology allows us to scale to all kinds of challenging environments,” he wrote in a post on Medium.
Rain wasn’t the only tricky factor depicted in the video. During the drive, in which the company says the vehicle was fully autonomous, it encountered a narrow street with parked cars and glare from oncoming traffic, a broken red light at intersection (shown at the 1:50-minute mark), and a busy four-way stop sign where another vehicle cuts in front.