More self-driving vehicles are being shown off in the D.C. region.
They include one known as “Tony” — short for “to navigate you,” said Dave Hofert, of Perrone Robotics.
The company created the vehicle by adding self-driving equipment to a Polaris Gem shuttle. The autonomous vehicle just finished up a trial run in Crozet, Virginia, where it gave rides between a residential area and downtown.
Tony was shown off at the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Autonomous Technology Summit, along with a Chevy Bolt modified by students at Virginia Tech. That vehicle is part of a national competition between schools to develop a fully autonomous vehicle.
The car “can be autonomous in a ton of different weather conditions, different road conditions,” said student Mitch Gerhardt. “We can detect signage, we can detect obstacles on the road.”
Already in the region, self-driving shuttles have run at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Virginia, and in Maryland’s National Harbor.
A self-driving shuttle is also planned to run between the Dunn Loring Metro and the Mosaic District in Fairfax County.
While the shuttles do drive themselves, for now, a human stays on board to override any choices the autonomous vehicles make.