Self drive cars in Ford's near future

The Ford Fusion hybrid research vehicle already uses sensors to enhance safety.
The Ford Fusion hybrid research vehicle already uses sensors to enhance safety.

Ford says it is teaming up with researchers at two US universities to work on obstacles, technical and otherwise, to automated driving.

"To deliver on our vision for the future of mobility, we need to work with many new partners across the public and private sectors, and we need to start today," says Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice-president at Ford.

The Detroit carmaker says it will work with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University on Ford's Blueprint for Mobility, its vision for transportation in 2025 and beyond.

Ford says the project will build on its automated Ford Fusion hybrid research vehicle unveiled last month and examine "potential solutions for the longer-term societal, legislative and technological issues posed by a future of fully automated driving.

"Working with university partners like MIT and Stanford enables us to address some of the longer-term challenges surrounding automated driving while exploring more near-term solutions for delivering an even safer and more efficient driving experience," says Mascarenas.

The Ford research car unveiled last month uses the same technology already in some of today's vehicles, but adds sensors to generate a real-time 3D map of the vehicle's surrounding environment.

Ford's research with MIT uses advanced algorithms to help the vehicle learn to predict where moving vehicles and pedestrians could be in the future.

Working with Stanford, Ford is exploring how the sensors could see around an obstacle such as a truck to make evasive manoeuvres, if needed.

Google has been testing self-driving cars in several US states, and a number of carmakers and suppliers have been developing semi-autonomous driving systems, including for parking.


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