This page contains the news and the blog of the VIAC project. You can check what happened during the test (officially and unofficially); by clicking on the single news, you will also be directed to a page with the comments of the various visitors for the engineers and for the team.

Thank you very much to all who participated in our blog.

New page online

A new page is online showing the fan we met during the expedition and those who follow us daily.
Have a look at it!!

On the way to Urumqui

Mid morning here in China, we’re driving for our first autonomous run of the day on the highway G312 to Urumqui. Moving away from the magnificent (and cold!) Tian Shan, the Celestial Mountains, we have still quite cool temperature but nice sunny weather.

No problems with the vehicles in the last runs, only one broken CO2 sensor which we’ll replace later.
Traffic is very low on the road for the moment, we expect very smooth runs for the rest of the day.

Talk to you later, Ni Hao!

Altitude: 2000m

We have camped in a very nice location at about 15 km from the Sayram Hu lake and surrounded by the wonderful Borohoro snowy mountains at an altitude of 2000m. We did two runs of 80 and 32 Km respectively climbing up for a total of with 1500 m, with some offroad section; hopefully we will be able to post some images soon.

New galleries

Some new galleries have been added in the Media section, with pictures taken on the cities of Tjumen, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Novokuznetsk, Almaty.

Another customs day

Today we spent the whole day in Yining waiting for the customs to open and release our two trucks. Tomorrow we should be able to start again our trip.

No man’s land soccer

Today the expedition has been splitted in two parts: one is going back to Almaty to get some additional documents necessary to exit the Kazak border, while the other is in the no man’s land between Kazakhstan and China waiting to enter China. Well, believe it or not, our main problems are always non-technical!!!

To enjoy some nice time together while waiting, we just organized a soccer match between an italian team (us!) and a kazak one. After a while of nice and relaxing playing, Mario kicked the ball in a no-trespassing zone: kazak people cannot access, chinese people cannot access, italian people cannot access there as well…. ball lost (but stylishly).

Altitude: 1000m

We are now “climbing” the mountains towards China. The temperature fell down and the weather is getting worse. The second run in autonomous mode is just finished, now we’ll proceed on the trucks to gain some time.

Press conference in Almaty

No demo with the autonomous vehicles after yesterday’s press conference in Almaty as there had been not enough space to set one. Journalists from TV Almaty and NTK Channel interviewed us and made videos of the vehicles driving from the hotel where we had spent the 2 previous nights to the press conference place.

The videos will be available on our website as soon as possible.

New gallery

A new gallery has been added in the Media section with pictures taken on the road from Barnaul to Almaty.

In Almaty

We reached the huge city of Almaty yesterday afternoon around 5.30 pm local time after two autonomous runs of 85 and 50 km, the second one shorter as we entered the city and arrived, escorted by the police, at the hotel. Entrance in the city hasn’t been easy at all: huge traffic jams and cars overtaking from about everywhere around even with the police car in front of us. Anyway we managed to run autonomously almost all the way through except for a couple of manual interventions.

Free day today so together with a good cleaning of the camper vans and an overall reorganization of all the spare parts, we’ll do the periodical complete check-up on all the vehicles.

A presentation (not sure if with live demo though) will be held tomorrow here in Almaty: we’ll keep you posted about place and time.