Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: When Self-Driving Tech Was In Its Infancy, A Road Trip By 2 CMU Researchers Paved The Way

At the end of July 1995, a pair of Carnegie Mellon University researchers embarked on a nearly 3,000-mile road trip across the country — from Pittsburgh to San Diego — in an unsuspecting black minivan.

Neither was driving.

The van, a 1990 Pontiac Trans Sport dubbed “Navlab 5,” was loaded up with the latest self-driving technology developed at CMU. Its pilot was called the Rapidly Adapting Lateral Position Handler, or, RALPH for short, and it had the wheel as Dean Pomerleau and Todd Jochem kept a careful eye.

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