The electric vans travelled 8,077 miles (13,000 kilometers) from Italy across Russia and Central Asia to reach their destination. The vehicles arrived at the Shanghai World Expo on Thursday, after leaving Italy on July 20.
The van, designed by Italian tech company Vislab, featured 12 refined sensors, including cameras, a carbon dioxide sensor, a GPS device and an off-road laser scanner. Using a system called the Generic Obstacle and Lane Detector, or GOLD, these two vans were able to guide themselves across the two continents.
The sensors on the vehicles enabled them to navigate through wide extremes in road, traffic and weather conditions, while collecting data to be analyzed for further research, in a study sponsored by the European Research Council.
During the trip, the electric vans ran at a top speed of 60km/h (38 mph) to maximize battery life.
Earlier this month, Google announced that its self-driving vehicle had successfully traveled about 350 miles [563 kilometers] from its headquarters in Mountain View, California, to Santa Monica, California.[source: Vislab]