Thursday, January 7, 2016

Ford Triples Autonomous Vehicle Fleet and Adds New Sensors

Ford Triples Autonomous Vehicle Fleet and Adds New Sensors
Ford Fusion Hybrid autonomous vehicles with their four current Velodyne sensors

WESTLAND, Mich. –– Ford is tripling its autonomous vehicle fleet and adding new sensors to what will now be 30 Fusion Hybrid autonomous vehicles. This action will triple the fleet from 10 vehicles by adding an additional 20 Fusion Hybrids.

The large addition of vehicles to its autonomous fleet indicates Ford's leadership in the pioneering of driverless technology. Tripling its fleet of Fusion Hybrid autonomous vehicles will make it the largest autonomous-vehicle fleet of any automaker.

Ford tripling its autonomous vehicle fleet and adding new sensors will improve the automaker's ability to test and develop technologies in the realm of autonomous vehicles as part of its Ford Smart Mobility Plan, mainly in various driving environments throughout California, Arizona, and Michigan. This includes the testing and development of connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics, according to Ford.

“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.”

To help push into new territories of autonomous vehicle technology development, Ford is using Velodyne's latest LiDAR sensors––called Solid-State Hybrid Ultra PUCK Auto because of its hockey puck size and design. These sensors are abel to detect up to a range of roughly 600 ft, and are the first sensors specifically made for equipment of a vehicle.

Ford Triples Autonomous Vehicle Fleet and Adds New Sensors
One of the new Velodyne sensors that will replace the four seen in the photo above

The Ultra PUCK sensors will enhance Ford's autonomous vehicle technology in the area of strategic decision making and awareness on the road. Two new, lighter and sleeker sensors will replace four old LiDAR sensors that are less reasonable on a vehicle like the Fusion Hybrid, yet the new sensors will still accomplish collecting the same amount of data for testing because of their ability to be placed on more strategic areas of the vehicle.

There has been a deluge of information coming in about Ford's role in the advancement of autonomous vehicle technology. If you'd like to learn more about what they're doing to preserve the traditional role of the automobile while also continuing forward into a future that holds many broader possibilities for transportation, feel free to read more here. We're happy to provide you with information about the latest trends in the industry, as well as what advancements Ford is making with driverless cars.

North Brothers Ford is located at 33300 Ford Rd Westland, MI 48185 and proudly serves as one of the premier dealerships in Metro Detroit, and is committed to exceptional customer service! Stop by or give us a call at 888-806-7163, our knowledgeable and helpful sales team will be more than happy to assist you!

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