Goodwood attendees were treated to not just one, but two different displays of autonomous performance today, and one was definitely better than the other. While up the hill, the Siemens autonomous Mustang, well, didn’t.
To be fair, as the memes say, the Mustang does have a natural tendency to want to run into things when spectators are around. Still, seeing this classic swerve around Lord March’s driveway like Grandpa just before they took his license away was more than a little depressing… and probably set back people’s opinion of self-driving cars a fair amount.
The Siemens Mustang was built as part of a partnership with Cranfield University, and unlike the Roborace autonomous vehicle, this ‘Stang was powered by good ol’ fashioned guzzolene. The team from Cranfield outfitted the car with GPS and what looks like some kind of camera on the right-hand side of the windshield, but clearly, they should have splurged on a bit more tech.
Thankfully, speeds were kept pretty low, so while the Mustang was playing pinball with the hay bales that lined the hillclimb course, nobody seemed to be in any real danger. There were humans inside the vehicle during the run, and they did intervene several times to stop things from going totally awry during the 4-plus minute saunter to the top of the hill.
The best part is that this wasn’t a one-time run. The Mustang may be making further trips up the hill as the Festival of Speed goes on, hopefully with more success.