Work on Ford’s autonomous technologies continues – the company is developing a Fusion self-driving prototype with highly advanced sensors, radars, and software. The Blue oval brand demonstrated what it has achieved so far at the University of Michigan and its Mcity facility.
Mcity simulates urban environment which allows Ford to safely test up to Level 4-capable autonomous vehicles in “scenarios like traffic in intersections, pedestrians in crosswalks, different traffic signals, and even bicyclists.” During the demonstration earlier this week, autonomous Fusion prototypes “successfully piloted themselves around the faux city landscape, top speed around 25 miles per hour,” as Automotive News reports.
According to AE, the cars correctly recognized stop lights, negotiated turns, identified real pedestrians, as the video above shows, and interacted “without drama.” The autonomous drive was smooth.
Ford performs real-world autonomous tests in California, Arizona, and Michigan, and is expected to begin evaluating the tech in Europe later this year. The ultimate goal for the engineers of the company is to create a car that needs no steering wheel and pedals. Ford wants to offer autonomous cars for ride sharing by 2021 – and make them available to customers by 2025.
Earlier this year, Ford announced it will invest $1 billion over the next five years into robotics and artificial intelligence startup Argo AI. If everything goes on plan, the automaker could even license its self-driving tech out to other companies in the future.
The latest generation of the Fusion autonomous prototype was revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The vehicle uses improved lidar units, enabling it to monitor objects up to 600 yards (549 meters) away.
Source: Ford via Automotive News