Someday, watching videos of cars driving themselves will become boring and commonplace. But we’re not there yet. This video, shared by self-driving startup Drive.ai, shows the company’s technology at work on a rainy evening in Mountain View, California, near Drive.ai’s headquarters.
This video is particularly interesting as it’s one of the few that we’ve seen show a car driving in poor weather. Last year, Ford showed off its cars driving in snow in a closed, controlled environment, but this is one of the first times we’ve seen cars driving in the rain out in the real world.
As Drive.ai notes in a blog post about the video, rain and night driving are conditions that drivers could experience every day. “Any successful self-driving technology will need to address countless unpredictable situations and a wide range of driving conditions,” the post says. “Yet few are able to today.”
Drive.ai uses “deep learning” technology to program its artificial intelligence system. Rather than programming a car so that it knows exactly what to do, Drive.ai hopes to allow its driving AI to learn on its own. That means, like a human, the more time it spends driving and the more scenarios it encounters, the better it'll get at responding to them.
A Drive.ai spokesperson told The Verge that the video is “uncut and uninterrupted, just stabilized and sped up a bit,” and noted these other highlights:
Some highlights about the video:
Fully autonomous driving during the entire video. No human intervention.
Starting from 0:10 heavy downpour.
0:30 Narrow street with parked cars and glare from oncoming traffic.
1:00 Busy 4-way stop sign and a car (possibly illegally) cutting in front of the Drive.ai car.
1:50 Broken red light at intersection
2:35 Night driving with confusing reflections from the wet ground.