Autobots, rollout: Ford sends man on a mission disguised as a car seat

You guys may recall news of a mysterious and unmarked, “driverless van” roaming the roads of Arlington, Virginia about a month ago.

Well, at least it appeared driverless — until NBC transportation reporter (and our new hero) Adam Tuss broke the case wide open, reporting that the car was in fact manned by a guy camouflaged as a car seat.

“I’m with the news, dude”

A video posted to Tuss’ Twitter showed him approaching the stopped vehicle with the kick*ss line: “I’m with the news, dude” — attempting futilely to get the man in the driver seat (completely covered in fake seat cushions), to tell him who he was and what the heck he was doing.

Turns out, Ford was behind the whole thing

Their self-driving division partnered with Virginia Tech’s Transportation Institute to hide a man behind the wheel of a Ford Transit.

Why? Just to see how people would react to a driverless car on the road.

In the absence of a driver passively aggressively gesturing, “please, after you,” to pedestrians, a mounted light bar on the front of the vehicle communicated whether the car was about to accelerate or slow down.

And, it seemed effective — aside from an overzealous reporter, the experiment went off without a hitch. Ford and VTTI plan to expand urban testing — and we got a new catchphrase.

The post Autobots, rollout: Ford sends man on a mission disguised as a car seat appeared first on The Hustle.

(via The Hustle)

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