Early Driverless Cars Used Underground Magnets to Test in California 25 Years Ago

Part of the act, however, required the Department of Transportation to “develop an automated highway and vehicle prototype” so that the “first fully automated roadway [would be] in operation by the end of 1997” to help curb the growing problem of surface transport traffic congestion.

By 1994, the National Automated Highway System Consortium was formed to help tackle that task. The consortium was comprised of nine different entities: Bechtel, the California Department of Transportation, Carnegie Mellon, General Motors (including its subsidies, Delco Electronics and Hughes Electronics), Lockheed Martin, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and UC Berkeley’s California Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology program…

For starters, there was the Ohio State University Center for Intelligent Transportation Research. CITR tested two Honda Accords that were developed and tested at the Transportation Research Center in Marysville, Ohio. The Hondas were outfitted with laser range finders, optical cameras, and radars which would center the vehicle in the lane using reflective strips.