The Amsterdam-based HERE Technologies and Minneapolis-based VSI Labs tested a fully autonomous Ford Fusion in Northern Virginia on Monday, according to WUSA9.
Supported by GPS and HD mapping, the car was able to change lanes on its own.
“This vehicle, right now, is just using our HD lane data to help with lane changing and staying in the lane,” Matt Preyss, product marketing manager of HERE Technologies, was quoted as saying.
Details pertaining to lane width and lane marking are collected by the company via 400 vehicles with GPS software in order to improve the safety of autonomous car technology.
Back in October 2018, Ford officials told CNN that the reason why they chose the District was its “progressive mayor” and its young population, which would be more open to new technologies.
Prior to D.C., Ford started testing its autonomous vehicles in Miami, which was its first launch. The company’s self-driving cars will be running across the entire District.
A bill paving the way for self-driving testing permits was introduced last April by D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh.
“Today, the technology has outpaced our existing framework, and we need to keep pace with those changes to ensure that all roadway users, including bicyclists and pedestrians, are safe and protected,” Cheh had said at the time.
As per the legislation, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) issues testing permits to companies, which are required to “report the location(s) and duration of vehicle testing; vehicle information; insurance information; and provide a safety and risk mitigation plan.”
The companies that apply for testing such vehicles also have to ensure that their vehicles comply with federal motor vehicle safety regulations and meet certain requirements, provide needed data to the District, and present a plan to mitigate cybersecurity risks.
DDOT is authorized to suspend or revoke permits on the grounds that a company made false statements in its application, that its vehicles were involved in a deadly accident and other reasons.