Ford Tests Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicles At Night

By Mayor James On 14 May, 2016 At 08:43 PM | Categorized As Automobiles, Featured | With 0 Comment

No light? it is all alright ! FORD Fusion autonomous research vehicles use LIDAR sensor tech to see in the dark.

While driving in the pitch black of Ford’s Arizona proving ground, the company’s self-driving research vehicle’s LiDAR sensors were able to work along with the car’s virtual driver software to steer “flawlessly around winding roads,” according to the makers. The experiment drove home Ford’s point that, although it ideal to be equipped with all 3 modes of sensors that including cameras, radar and LiDAR — the latter can function alone on roads without stoplights.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data has been found the passenger vehicle occupant fatality rate during dark hours to be about 3 times higher the daytime rate.

To navigate in the dark, Ford self-driving cars use high-resolution 3D maps – complete with information regarding the road, road markings, geography, topography and landmarks like signs, buildings and trees. The vehicle using LiDAR pulses to pinpoint itself on the map in real time. Additional data from radar gets fused with that of LiDAR to complete the full sensors compatible with the autonomous vehicle.

“Inside the car, you could feel it moving, but when you looked out the window, you only saw darkness,” Wayne Williams, a research scientist and engineer with Ford, said that, As I rode in the back seat, I was following the car’s progression in real time using PC monitoring. Sure enough, it stayed precisely on track along those winding roads.

ford test fusion hybrid

This year, Ford will triple its autonomous vehicle test fleet – presenting the number to about 30 self-driving Fusion Hybrid sedans for testing on roads in California, Arizona and Michigan.

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