The Chrysler 300 looked innocent enough as it drove to the front of Continental’s North American headquarters in Auburn Hills where it parked and awaited to take me nervously into the future.
You wouldn’t have known it was an autonomous vehicle at first glance except for the sensors atop and alongside the car that have 360-degree viewing capability. They were put on the car by Continental, a German supplier known for its tires.
Like so many companies right now, Continental is expanding and forging a new future tied to cutting-edge technology to help automakers on their path to self-driving cars.
The vehicle markings were gone, but anyone in the Motor City who appreciates cars would know in an instant the sleek black vehicle was a 300.
Steffen Hartmann, a millennial who works as a vehicle test engineer at Continental, stepped out of the vehicle with a smile and proceeded to explain to me and my crew how the technology and sensors work.
Hartmann is one of the company’s point people charged with taking luminaries on test drives, showing them what it’s like to be in an autonomous car on an actual freeway.