This 'Self-Driving' Van Featured A Man In A Seat Costume, But The Reason For The Stunt Was No Joke

The bizarre methodology was used for more than just laughs.

For over a week, residents of Arlington, Virginia, have noticed a driverless van making its way around the city, but when a few curious individuals approached the car, they found something far stranger than a high-tech vehicle.

They found a guy in a seat costume. And he wasn’t quick to pull back the curtain on whatever charade he was a part of.

While this may look like some low-budget prank for a third-rate cable network, there’s (likely) much more validity to this odd project. The man in the seat costume is part of a study conducted by Virginia Tech on driverless cars, per NBC News. Their report reads:

“[The] Virginia Tech Transportation Institute said Monday afternoon that the van and van driver are part of a study they are conducting on driverless cars. The worker was wearing the uniform he was supposed to wear. “The driver’s seating area is configured to make the driver less visible within the vehicle, while still allowing him or her the ability to safely monitor and respond to surroundings,” a statement from the institute says.”

It’s not explicitly why the group is conducting the research, but many outlets are speculating that the study examines the reactions of drivers and people to the novel sight of a driverless car. CNN reports that the researchers have stated the effort is intended to aid in the design of self-driving cars, though no further details were provided.

Their methods are a little odd, but you have to admire the simplicity of just putting a car seat costume on someone and pretending no one’s driving.

via The Hill / Twitter

President Trump's appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland was a mixed bag.

The theme of the event was climate change, but Trump chose to use his 30 minutes of speaking time to brag about the "spectacular" U.S. economy and encouraged world leaders to invest in America.

He didn't mention climate change once.

Keep Reading
The Planet
via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

Keep Reading

The Australian bushfires have claimed 27 human lives, an estimated 1 billion animals are feared dead, and thousands of properties have been completely decimated.

The fires were caused by extreme heat and dryness, the result of 2019 being the country's hottest year on record, with average temperatures 1.52C above the 1961-1990 average.

The area hit hardest by the fires, New South Wales, also had its hottest year on record, with temperatures rising 1.95C above average.

Keep Reading
The Planet