Old Meets New In Siemens’ Autonomous 1965 Ford Mustang

The 1965 Ford Mustang is an icon that has withstood the test of time, but it’s not exactly the most high-tech vehicle. Siemens is looking to change that by unveiling a one-off model that has been equipped with autonomous driving technology.

Set to attempt the famous Goodwood hill climb later this week, the Mustang aims to combine “classic engineering with autonomous technology.” As part of this effort, the automotive supplier teamed up with Cranfield University to bring the car into the modern era.

Technical details remain elusive but the university said researchers from their Advanced Vehicle Engineering Center worked hand-in-hand with Siemens to equip the Mustang with a “suite of state-of-the-art sensors and control algorithms.” There’s no word on specifics, but the team also used advanced location scanning technology to create a 3D map of the 1.86 km (1.15 mile) long course.



The modifications are well hidden as the only noticeable exterior changes are two sensors that are located near the hood and trunk. The interior also appears relatively stock with the exception of a big red button that is presumably used to stop the vehicle in the event that something goes wrong.

While the Mustang is certainly eye-catching, the team behind the project noted it “presented a particular challenge as the model can be notoriously unpredictable even under manual control.” That, combined with safety regulations, means Cranfield senior lecturer Dr James Brighton will act as a safety driver during the car’s runs at Goodwood.

Speaking of the latter, the first attempt will be made on July 12th. The feat will then be repeated twice every day until the end of the Goodwood Festival of Speed on July 15th.


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  • Dude

    Weird how Siemens builds this autonomous car, but afaik their main line high speed trains (what I know them for) aren’t autonomous. Seems like that would be easier to do.

    • Jay

      There are probably some great reasons why trains and planes aren’t fully autonomous yet. Biggest reason I can think of is that the companies aren’t ready to put that many lives at stake yet.

      • Dude

        Planes I understand but not as much with trains. Trains are extremely safe so I guess they don’t see the need to invest in that yet, but when there is a crash, like that one in Spain or the last couple of Amtrak crashes, it’s pretty much always simple human error (speeding, sleep at the wheel etc). The fact that they’re already gps tracked and on tracks just makes crashes extra sad to me.

        • Jay

          You just pointed out the issue with trains too, They have plenty of safety features that don’t always work. There shouldn’t be as many train crashes but there still are. Imagine what would happen if there wasn’t human at fault for that much loss of life. They’d also need to spend a whole lot of money for safety and maintenance too.


  • Perry F. Bruns

    The “Cars and Coffee” jokes write themselves.

  • Brent Morrison

    Does it have a mode where it detects pedestrians and inflict maximum damage as much as possible?

    • Bash

      LOL, I thank that is what that big Red button does.

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