Man in auto seat costume tests response to driverless vehicles

  • Man in auto seat costume tests response to driverless vehicles

Man in auto seat costume tests response to driverless vehicles

A "driverless" van spotted in Virginia last week had its driver behind the wheel dressed as a vehicle seat to give an illusion it was empty.

According to NBC, the Arlington Police Department is "shocked" by news of the van. WRC-TV's Adam Tuss and his photographer followed the van for 20 minutes, even after he says the van tried to lose them.

"Everything that was going on with this van yesterday and over the last couple of days was perfectly fine", Tuss said on News4.

When the light changed, Mr. Car Seat took off with Tuss and his photographer in pursuit.

What if it turned out that all the driverless cars being tested by all the driverless vehicle companies weren't actually driverless, but just cars with human drivers hidden inside of them, say inside the front seat? Video apparently obtained by the reporter appeared to show arms and legs protruding from behind what looked like the back of a standard automobile seat.

But the guy didn't comment and just sped off, reportedly running a red light. What are you doing?

It's still unclear exactly why the man chose to go to such great lengths to pull off his driverless auto prank, but it most definitely worked.

What's more surprising: A moving vehicle without a driver or a man dressed as a auto seat?

Virginia Tech said the driver's seating area was configured to make the driver less visible within the vehicle, while still allowing him or her to safely monitor and respond to surroundings. The study's goal is to help show how to design true automated vehicles.

Now we know that all of this was just part of Virginia Tech's transportation research.

NBC News reached out to Virginia Tech's Transportation Institute which provided a somewhat satisfactory explanation for what happened (and no, it's not a YouTube prank).

The organization worked with Arlington officials to plan this study, and chose the county because of its high density, saying it represents "the urban areas for which automated vehicles are now being considered".