Self-driving cars without drivers have been approved in certain countries or certain areas. But usually, when one sees these vehicles, you will see large equipment mounted around the car with large signs indicating to others that this is a test vehicle and they need to be cautious. In the case of a van going through Virginia, it caught the attention of many including the news crew of NBC Washington.
In a video NBC Washington captured, it was absolutely bizarre. It didn’t look like there was a driver and the van looked totally normal with no signs or fancy equipment mounted anywhere.
Adam Tuss of NEws4 took a closer look and realised the truth behind the driverless van.
“I looked out and I said, ‘Oh my God, there’s a guy in a seat costume,” Tuss said in a report by NBC Washington. “How’s that possible? Your brain can’t get around it for a second.”
There were arms poking out at the bottom, below the side windshield in order for the driver to control the van’s steering wheel. The driver’s face was completely covered.
Yes, that is right. There was a driver after all and it was a guy dressed up in a costume that looked exactly like the seat of the van! After the story was published with NBC Washington, Virginia Tech’s Transportation Institute (VTTI) came out with a statement to say that it was a researcher in the van who was conducting a study on how people reacted to driverless cars.
I am very sure the response from the news station did add significant results to the researchers work and it does show that not everyone may necessarily be comfortable with the technology going mainstream.