Autonomous Toyota Prius Reportedly Drives Itself Coast-To-Coast With No Issues

Anthony Levandowski is best known as the engineer who sparked a lengthy legal battle between Uber and Waymo, but he’s back in the news as he’s claiming to have driven coast-to-coast in an autonomous Toyota Prius.

In a somewhat rambling Medium post – where he claims to have been “painted into a villainous caricature” and labeled as “reckless” over his bluntness – Levandowski says his new company completed the “technical milestone” in October. The video also claims the car traveled 3,099 miles (4,987 km) from San Francisco to New York City with zero disengagements on the trip.

While it would be natural to assume the Prius was equipped with a Level 4 autonomous driving system, Levandowski says the car only used a “highly-capable Level 2 system and not more.” The Medium post doesn’t go into a lot of specifics, but The Guardian says the car only used “video cameras, computers and basic digital maps to make the cross-country trip.”

Also Read: Uber Settles Lawsuit With Waymo, Will Pay $245 Million

Levandowski also attacked the current approach to autonomous driving technology as he believes most companies are trying to jump directly to Level 4.  His new company, Pronto AI, is doing something different as they’re “building neural networks from the ground up that combine experience-based AI, end-to-end deep learning, and crowdsourced data with advanced computer vision to deliver a highly scalable and flexible driving stack.” That’s a lot of techno babble, but he summaries it by saying “Our team of engineers is building tech that can learn how to drive the way people do.”

Besides releasing a time lapse video of the drive, Levandowski announced his company’s first product will be called Copilot and it’s an advanced driver assistance system designed for Class 8 vehicles such as semis.  Little is known about it at this point, but the system is slated to roll out early next year.


  • sidewaysspin

    Machines have come alive.

  • Callanish

    I’ve driven that road many times. Autonomous driving over the Sierra Nevada mountain range is pretty impressive.

  • Knotmyrealname

    Only a few years or so behind Tesla.
    Well done.

  • Bash


  • jason wu

    Fake. I didn’t see the car pulled into a gas station.

  • Patrick

    will there be some sort of conflict when a thousand or so are next to each other in a city

    • Dude

      With V2V there’d actually be less conflict since all the cars would operate in a semi hivemind. Ford showed a cool experiment where two vehicles with V2V went through an intersection at the same time using only V2V coordination.

  • Liam Paul

    I would never buy a car to drive me. I love driving and also any business who uses these cars to replace human jobs than deserves to go out of business. I don’t see enough reason to have this. Don’t you all see it. Robots are replacing humans on everything, stop being afraid of mexicans and start being afraid of these robots that can replace a human for a one time flat fee to the manufacturer

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