‘Self-driving car’ actually controlled by man dressed up as a car seat

The intenet went crazy over the weekend after a new self-driving car was seen rolling around in Virginia, USA.

Unlike vehicles from Uber and Waymo, the car didn’t have any obvious signs of a way to measure distance, the chunky imaging technology most autonomous vehicles use to gauge the state of the road ahead. Instead, it had just a small bar mounted on the dashboard, which blinked red when it was at a stop light and green once the cost was clear.

Even more intriguingly, the car appeared to be genuinely autonomous: there was no-one sitting in the driver’s seat. Typically, a human overseer is required in the testing phase to make sure that the car doesn’t go wild and run over a marching band, but somehow this car had managed to find a loophole.

The timing made sense: just a week beforehand, Virginia had authorised the testing of self-driving cars in the state, albeit initially only on closed lanes of two highways, but eventually expanding to “light traffic conditions”. And local university Virginia Tech has been testing autonomous cars and drones in the area.

But still a question remained. Who was behind this breakthrough new technology? How were they solving the problems that hinders the progress of even the mighty Google?

You’ve read the headline. You know the answer: it was a bloke dressed up as a car seat.

By Harmony Kennedy

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