A team of researchers led by Raul Rojas, a professor at University of Nevada, Reno, had travelled 1500 miles across Mexico trek by using an autonomous car. The autonomous car that was used for the journey was a 2010 Volkswagen Passat station wagon which is named Autonomos. The route was pre-programmed into the car system prior to the journey to travel from Nogales to Mexico City.
Autonomos was sent from Berlin to Reno and it is legal to be tested on the public road since 2011. In order to complete this journey, it is equipped with seven laser scanners, nine video cameras, seven radars and a very precise GPS unit. Even though the route was pre-programmed by the team, however, it demonstrated smooth transition during changing lanes and brakes.
Prior to the journey, the team has travelled 4000 miles in and around Nevada to collect as much data as they could which in the end they perfected it to ensure that the system would be as glitch-free as possible during the journey across Mexico. As the result, the trip was a success. The only issue that they were facing was when they were driving across fresh pavement without lane markings. Regardless, they reached Mexico City safely; the whole trip took a total of approximately one week from the departure date on October 12. The car travelled between 250 to 300 miles per day.
Rojas has experience working with intelligent system since 1986 and he started exploring on autonomous cars system since 2006. There are two researchers from Freie Universitat Berlin and an employee from an autonomous vehicle research company in his team.