Do you know who or what was behind a driverless Ford Transit van that was seen around Arlington, Virginia on Thursday?
The vehicle was spotted with no human beings in either the driver’s seat or the passenger seat. ARLnow.com has video of it:
The Ford Transit van also doesn’t appear to have any lidar sensors mounted on its roof. Lidar is a 3D sensing technology that big tech companies like Google and Apple believe is key to autonomous vehicles.
Virginia’s state government has aggressively courted self-driving vehicle companies and researchers. There are “no laws preventing autonomous testing on roadways, or a special permitting process, that doesn’t exist,” Virginia Department of Transportation spokesperson Marshall Herman told Business Insider. “There are very few regulations in Virginia for that.”
However, the roads that the car were spotted on were not controlled by VDOT.
Some officials have said that nobody needs to be in a self-driving car if it’s operated remotely, the Washington Post reported in April.
One person who saw the van said it was driving weirdly and that the technology “on the top” of the vehicle got her attention.
It might not be a tech company behind the van. Lots of university and military researchers are based in Northern Virginia and the DC suburbs.
ARLnow couldn’t get to the bottom of who was operating the vehicle either, but they have lots of additional details about the unmarked grey van.
Do you know more about this mysterious van? The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or securely on Wickr at kifl. Twitter direct messages work, too.