It was just the ad style of the day. The same edition of Byte magazine had an Oracle ad that was full of DBase IV references (copies of negative articles about it, mostly) with only a small Oracle logo somewhere near the end.
Also stuff like https://78.media.tumblr.com/1fb5edc62a27f8f1c8ef07e611ec4281...
A good start is here:
And yes, that van held a rack-mounted computing system that included a WARP systolic array processor:
...which is very similar to what we have today as a GPU; it was basically a "high-speed" (for its time) vector processing system (in other words, perfect for neural-network processing).
The processor on the vehicle ran the pre-trained model; training the model using similar machines took a really long time (weeks, iirc), even with the small number and sizes of layers they were working with.
Compare and contrast the ALVINN project (there's a lot of research papers and such on it - video, pictures, etc - dig into it if you are interested) to NVidia's End-to-End CNN self-driving vehicle:
You'll find a lot of parallels (and ALVINN - plus one or two of the other projects, iirc, is mentioned in their paper).
I'm familiar with a lot of this mainly thru my self-study of machine learning and deep learning via a combination of courses from Udacity and (now) Coursera. My first impressions about ALVINN actually came from articles and video about it when I was a kid in the 1980s; I didn't understand how it worked at the time, but I was really impressed and intrigued by it.
In 2011, I took part in (and ultimately completed) Andrew Ng's "ML Class" MOOC (this became one of Coursera's first courses) - and he made mention of ALVINN as a part of the course - and it inspired this guy, who was part of the class, to re-create it:
So you aren't too off-base here; yes, that rack of machinery back in the 1980s has shrunk to pocket-size.
Earlier this year, as part of the course for Udacity's "Self-Driving Car Engineer" Nanodegree program, I implemented (using their simulator) a version of the NVidia End-to-End CNN architecture to drive the simulated car around the simulation track based only on what it learned from my own "driving" in the simulation.
Finally - if you are really interested in this - and want to compete on somewhat of a budget - there's this (among so many other similar competitions out there):
As far as I can tell, you can't have hidden unit 1 inactive, while hidden unit 2 is active (as shown in Figure 1c)
Also, I can't see how we can make a matrix multiplication that maps
(0,0) -> 0
(0,1) -> 0
(1,0) -> 0
(1,1) -> 1
Take a look at this video.