Late in December, SAE completed another in the series of events where they sought to understand public perceptions of autonomy by first giving members of the public a survey, then giving them a ride in an autonomous vehicle, and finally giving them another survey to see how their perception may have changed after experiencing autonomous driving first hand.
Perrone Robotics has been the provider of these autonomous rides for both events so far. While other autonomous companies may require days or even weeks of time to visually or otherwise map locations, Perrone is able to map these courses in a matter of minutes and then refine them over a series of a few test runs. Then we can reliably perform run after run all week. The quick setup and reliable performance is why PRI has been SAE’s go-to partner for these events!
As noted by Mary Moore, Strategic Marketing Director for SAE: ‘SAE is proud to work with Perrone Robotics in developing our SAE Demo Days. Public understanding of self-driving vehicles is crucial for their acceptance and success, both in the near-term of testing and the future of widespread use and adoption. The partnership was key to the success of our first two events.’
During the event PRI’s team of safety driver/concierge and “inattentive pedestrian/driver” performed over 100 2 mile runs on a closed course at Babcock Ranch. The course involved 4-way intersections, pedestrian crossings, travel at 35 mph and some slower sections, following slower vehicles, and avoidance of any number of construction vehicles of every description! For the most unusual cases (e.g. the time a crane holding a roof rafter inadvertently let it swing toward our vehicle) we use a dedicated button which allows the driver to have full control of the vehicle to manage the obstacle. Then when back on the planned course, another press of the button and our MAX autonomous engine regains control and continues the route.
While all of these maneuvers and detections were performed by our autonomous Range Rover, our use of the MAX autonomous engine means that the same exact application and course could have been run by our TONY shuttle, or any other vehicle that we enable with MAX. Each vehicle – or even small robot – would follow the same course and same rules to the best of their abilities (e.g. assuming they could reach the required speed for each section, etc.).