Man Dressed as Ford Transit Connect Driver’s Seat Causes Commotion!

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The silly prank delivered exactly what the research study set out to uncover  — people’s reactions to driverless cars.

Everyone is going crazy over autonomous vehicle technology these days. Spy photographers are constantly on the lookout for cars sporting giant radar dishes and numerous antennas. Such machinery has already been spotted in California, Virginia, and Massachusets, but until now they’ve all shared one thing in common: drivers. After all, most states legally require companies to have humans sitting behind the wheel. You know, just in case.

This gives you an idea of how folks must’ve reacted to the Ford Transit Connect wagon you see pictured here. It was spotted driving around Arlington, Virginia “without” a driver and it caused quite a stir! Now, Virginia has lax laws when it comes to testing autonomous vehicles, but not quite like this.


It all started when ARLnow saw the Ford Transit cruising around with a light bar and camera set up on the windshield. The article speculated that this was a discreet attempt at testing self-driving technology on public roads. Shortly thereafter, other news outlets picked up the story, including DCist and even Business Insider.

It wasn’t long before NBC Washington reporter Adam Tuss spotted the van and moved in for a closer look. Instead of finding a bunch of high-tech equipment inside, he discovered something incredibly hilarious — a man dressed as a car seat. That’s right, an actual adult was hidden under some sort of driver’s seat costume!

Except for this time, it doesn’t appear to be a prank. Rather, it’s actually part of a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study designed to gauge people’s reactions to self-driving cars. Obviously, that kind of experiment requires a little discretion. But apparently, neither the Virginia DOT nor the Arlington Police Department knew anything about it.

So, what will you dress as this upcoming Halloween?

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

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