Ford To Accelerate On-Road Testing Of Autonomous Vehicles [w/Video]

Ford is tripling their autonomous vehicle development fleet in order to give themselves an edge over their competitors in terms of software development and on-road testing.

Their fleet of Fusion Hybrid test vehicles, now the largest in the automotive industry, will use a new-gen sensor technology on roads in California, Arizona and Michigan, as about 30 vehicles will be tested in both urban and suburban environments.

The new fleet vehicles will use Velodyne’s new Solid-State Hybrid Ultra LiDAR sensors, which boast a longer range of 200 meters. Nicknamed the ‘Ultra Puck’, these sensors will accelerate the development and validation of Ford’s virtual driver software, which is basically the electronic brain of the self-driving car.

The reason why it’s called the ‘Ultra Puck’ is because of its hockey puck-like size and shape, which is a little ironic considering that hockey is very much a contact sport and contact is exactly what autonomous vehicles will try to avoid.

These third-generation autonomous Fusion Hybrids will come with supplemental features and wiring for power, steering and brakes. These features will of course act as backups if need be, though with progress moving at such a rapid scale, we expect Ford to feel extremely confident about their autonomous vehicle program going forward without any setbacks.

Ford VP Raj Nair said that “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. With more autonomous vehicles on the road, we are accelerating the development of software algorithms that serve to make our vehicles even smarter.”

While Ford continues to develop their autonomous tech, semi-autonomous features such as the adaptive cruise control, active park assist, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping aid, pedestrian detection, Pro Trailer Backup Assist and vehicle-to-vehicle connection technology, are already available throughout their range.

PHOTO GALLERY

VIDEO

GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck Plant Saved By UAW Agreement, Will Reportedly Build An Electric Pickup

The Cadillac CT6 could get a second chance at life.

Polestar To Launch Its First North American Store In Montreal

Polestar will start selling its first standalone electric performance sedan locally in June 2020.

Base Porsche Taycan 4S Configurator Is Live; How Much Would Yours Cost?

The Taycan 4S comes as standard with a 79.2 kWh battery good for 252 miles of range and two motors with up to 563 HP.

Pre-2018 Teslas Can Become Bricked Due To Worn-Out Flash Storage Chips

The sheer amount of logs burns out the chip, resulting in no infotainment, climate control or even charging – and a replacement can cost $5k!.

2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan Renders Shed New Light On Latest Spy Shots

The next-generation VW T7 Multivan will bring significant changes both on the surface and beneath the skin.

Ford’s Bringing Eight Modified Crossovers And SUVs To SEMA

The company will be showcasing an assortment of Explorers, Escapes and Expeditions.

Is This The 2021 Ford Bronco’s Animation Screen?

Ford ain’t going to be happy about this one, if the Bronco screen animation is legit.

VW Golf Countdown: 1983-1991 Mk2 Became The Evolution Of An Icon

The implementation of AWD, ABS, power steering and others led the Golf Mk2 to new heights.

Bentley Testers Had An Oopsie On The ‘Ring Crashing 2020 Flying Spur Prototype

Accidents happen, especially on the Nordschleife, but one can’t help but feel sorry for this Flying Spur.

2020 Toyota Wildlander Is China’s RAV4 With Half A Lexus Spindle Grille

The new Toyota Wildlander features a new front fascia and slimmer taillights at the rear compared to the RAV4.