Ford’s Fully Autonomous Fusion Shows That It Has Cracked Self-Driving Cars

The new Ford Fusion has been revealed just a week ahead of its official debut at CES 2017 by Ford and the first impressions of that car are spectacular. The car is not something that looks out of place with large sensors, it does not look like a concept car made more for development and testing but instead looks like any other ‘normal’ car on the road.

The fact that it is stuffed to the gills with radars, sensors and other technology to make it capable of fully autonomous driving is absolutely amazing.

The Ford Fusion has taken advantage of improving LIDAR technology and included 2 of them in the car. The previous version had 4 but these two are able to generate the same amount of data and provide the same coverage.

The Ford Fusion is capable of seeing in all direction for up to two football fields, can ‘see’ in heavy rainfall, fog, and even snow, and is learning every second that it is on the roads.

In fact, for shared that the latest Ford Fusion will generate one terabyte of data per hour which will be processed by the onboard computer system.   The car was also designed as a hybrid so that the extra energy required by all of its onboard components could be powered by renewable energy.

The production of this car is a big milestone considering the size of the company involved. Tesla, which already has cars on the road capable of fully autonomous driving, is a tiny company compared to Ford and thus it does not have the same shareholder responsibility or even have to plan for the same number of cars on the road as Ford does.

This car also falls in line with the 2021 deadline Ford has set for itself to have fully autonomous cars on the road being sold to the public and put in place a ride-sharing network.

Car makers seem to realize that car ownership is going to come into question after a few years as people will be able to hail rides or summon cars wherever they are and whenever they need. It is great to see Ford, a traditional carmaker in every sense, plan for the future and show that it is ready to change as the situation demands it too.

There is also no doubt that other carmakers will beat Ford to the self-driving punch but that does not seem to be out of any inertia on Ford’s part but rather by design. Ford wants to ensure that its autonomous system is absolutely safe and trained to handle as many situations as it can possibly learn before being deployed on the streets.

In Ford’s words, the system must not only be safe but provide the ‘feeling’ of safety and security to all its drivers.

 

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