In addition to Waymo and Fiat Chrysler likely showcasing their new self-driving Pacifica Hybrid development vehicles at CES 2017 in January, Ford will apparently be showing off its next-gen Fusion Hybrid autonomous development vehicle as well.
Ford will apparently also be showcasing the new next-gen Fusion Hybrid autonomous development vehicle at the North American International Auto Show — also in January.
Was the company planning to show off the new development vehicles before Waymo and Chrysler announced their plans to do so? Hard to say, but it’s worth remembering that Ford is aiming to bring a high-volume, fully autonomous vehicle to market by 2021. The plan is to use the planned vehicle in “ride-sharing” applications (on-demand taxi services).
The press release for the announcement provides more:
“The new vehicle uses the current Ford autonomous vehicle platform, but ups the processing power with new computer hardware. Electrical controls are closer to production-ready, and adjustments to the sensor technology, including placement, allow the car to better see what’s around it. New LiDAR sensors have a sleeker design and more targeted field of vision, which enables the car to now use just two sensors rather than four, while still getting just as much data.
“The new vehicle also evolves the two main elements to creating an autonomous vehicle — the autonomous vehicle platform, which is an upgraded version of the car itself, and the virtual driver system.”
This new “next-gen” vehicle follows on one first introduced by Ford around 3 years ago. There are currently 10 of these first-gen vehicles on the roads being tested.
2017’s CES show is really starting to look pretty interesting…
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