Self-driving shuttle, car shown off in Northern Virginia

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.”

The Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Autonomous Technology Summit featured different self-driving cars. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Autonomous Technology Summit featured self-driving cars. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Virginia Tech's self-driving car model is part of a national competition between schools to develop a fully autonomous vehicle. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Virginia Tech’s self-driving car model is part of a national competition between schools to develop a fully autonomous vehicle. (WTOP/John Aaron)
TONY” -- short for “to navigate you,” -- jus finished up a trial run in Crozet, Virginia. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Tony — short for “to navigate you” — just finished up a trial run in Crozet, Virginia. (WTOP/John Aaron)
TONY can drive itself along a set route. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Tony can drive itself along a set route. (WTOP/John Aaron)
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The Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Autonomous Technology Summit featured different self-driving cars. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Virginia Tech's self-driving car model is part of a national competition between schools to develop a fully autonomous vehicle. (WTOP/John Aaron)
TONY” -- short for “to navigate you,” -- jus finished up a trial run in Crozet, Virginia. (WTOP/John Aaron)
TONY can drive itself along a set route. (WTOP/John Aaron)

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.

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