Just in time for January’s big shows – CES in Las Vegas and the Detroit Auto Show – Ford is introducing its next-generation Fusion Hybrid autonomous development vehicle.
The Fusion – badged as a Mondeo in the UK – uses Ford’s current autonomous vehicle platform, but boosts 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, says Ford. New LiDAR sensors have a sleeker design and a more targeted field of vision, which enables the car to now use two sensors rather than four, while still gathering the same amount of data.
The latest Fusion Hybrid autonomous development vehicle, which supersedes Ford’s current generation launched three years ago, also evolves the autonomous vehicle platform, which is an upgraded version of the car itself, and the virtual driver system.
Chris Brewer, chief program engineer of Ford Autonomous Vehicle Development, writes in his blog post, “This new development vehicle brings Ford a step closer in its commitment to offer a fully autonomous vehicle in 2021 for ride-sharing and ride-hailing services. For now, the car still comes with a steering wheel and pedals — equipment our ride-sharing vehicles ultimately won’t include… The future is coming. And we can’t wait.”