ARLINGTON, Va. — A person disguised as a car seat has been driving a van around Washington, D.C.’s suburbs — an apparent attempt by transportation experts to gauge the public’s reaction toward what appears to be a driver-less vehicle.

A van that appeared to have no driver made headlines among local news outlets when it was spotted last week in Arlington. Up-close video of the van taken by WRC-TV appears to show arms and legs protruding from what looks like the back of a standard automobile seat.

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute said Monday that the van and driver are part of a study they’re conducting on driver-less cars. The study’s purpose is to help show how to design true automated vehicles. The driver was wearing the uniform he was supposed to wear.

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