Ford now has the largest fleet of autonomous test vehicles in the industry, enabling it to better test the next generation of sensor technology. These fully autonomous vehicles mostly consist of modified Ford Fusion Hybrid Concepts, with a total of over 30 models in California, Arizona, and Michigan.
Ford autonomous vehicle technology is leading the industry, but still has a ways to go before it is perfected, according to Ford. Aside from strict regulations, one of the largest areas of focus is sensor technology. Using Velodyne’s newest LiDAR sensor systems, called Solid-State Hybrid Ultra PUCK, this new sensory system can distinguish what is around the car for up to 200 meters and make decisions based on random scenarios.
“Using the most advanced technology and expanding our test fleet are clear signs of our commitment to make autonomous vehicles available for millions of people,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, Global Product Development, and chief technical officer. “With more autonomous vehicles on the road, we are accelerating the development of software algorithms that serve to make our vehicles even smarter.”
Ford has been seriously investing in autonomous vehicle technologies for over a decade, introducing the second-generation of autonomous Fusion hybrid concepts in 2013. Now it is only a matter of time before Ford cars can drive themselves.
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