The autonomous 1965 Ford Mustang’s drive up the Goodwood Hillclimb at the Festival of Speed looked to be a bit of a disaster, but it really wasn’t.
Last week we reported an autonomous 1965 Ford Mustang was going to hit the Goodwood Festival of Speed hillclimb to prove that modern technology can be applied to classic cars too. The trouble was, it didn’t go exactly to plan.
When we saw the autonomous Mustang hit the hillclimb for the first time (the first video below), it looked, from the off, as though it was being driven by software that had more than a glitch or three, weaving around like there was a drunk behind the wheel.
It seemed a real shame after Siemens and Cranfield University had tried to deliver something properly innovative and interesting, so we held off running the video until we saw if there was an improvement later in the weekend, and find out the reason why the Mustang performed so badly.
Thanks to Sunday Times Driving, we now know what went wrong.
It seems the Mustang was programmed up in just six weeks, so expectations weren’t too great for its performance, but it seems there was much more to contend with than just a short lead time.
Just like any classic, the Mustang is prone to ‘issues’, and this autonomous Mustang sprang a power steering leak, which meant the steering data was screwed, well-meaning (put ultimately daft) TV bods had asked that the Mustang ‘weave’ for better TV shots, and the live TV feed in the car was screwing with the GPS.
With all that to contend with, it’s remarkable how well the Mustang actually did. Thankfully, as you can see in the second video, things improved massively when the issues were addressed.
So well done Siemens and Cranfield University.