A mysterious driverless minivan was spotted driving around the DC area

Do you know who or what was behind a Ford Transit van that was seen driving around Arlington, Virginia last night?

The vehicle was spotted with no human beings in either the driver’s seat or the passenger seat. ARLnow.com has video
 of it: 

The Ford Transit van also doesn’t appear to have any lidar sensors mounted on its roof. Lidar is a 3D sensing technology that big tech companies like Google and Apple believe is key to autonomous vehicles.

Virginia’s state government has aggressively courted self-driving vehicle companies and researchers. No applications or permits are required to operate a driverless car in Virginia, the Washington Post reported in April. Some officials have even suggested that nobody needs to be in a self-driving car if it’s operated remotely, according to the report. 

Apple has operated unmarked Ford Transit vans in the past in California, and leased them from California auto dealers, Business Insider previously reported. But Apple’s vans — which have been labelled lately with “Apple Maps” — were equipped with visible lidar technology.

It might not be a tech company behind the van. Lots of university and military researchers are based in Northern Virginia and the DC suburbs.

ARLnow couldn’t get to the bottom of who was operating the vehicle either, but they have lots of additional details about the unmarked grey van. 

Do you know more about this mysterious van? The author can be contacted at [email protected] or securely on Wickr at kifl. Twitter direct messages work, too. 

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