The Ford brand is among the first automakers to get its feet wet in the world of self-driving cars. In fact, it just released a prototype in the form of a Ford Fusion that more or less looks and operates identically to a regular 2017 Ford Fusion. It is distinguishable, however, due to the presence of lidar modules positioned on the roof. These act as sensors for detecting their surroundings.
A prototype was tested at the company’s research campus in Dearborn, MI, with several people riding as passengers. According to Ford autonomous vehicle engineer Schuyler Cohn, the autonomous Ford Fusion obeys all traffic signals, stops for pedestrians, and follows the speed limit without going a mile over. As such, the ride wasn’t exactly a Fast and Furious type of thrill, but it did what it had to do and did so safely and within the law.
The company has already released 10 of these vehicles with an additional 20 currently in production. By 2018, there will be enough of these cars for Ford employees to get from point A to point B within the company premises. The automaker also has plans to develop a total autonomous car by 2021. This will be a self-driving car in the truest sense; it will have no steering wheel nor a brake and gas pedal.
According to Ford CEO Mark Fields, the reason for such investments is to keep up with the times and a trend where more people are sharing vehicles rather than owning them.
No, you won’t be able to get your hands on an autonomous Ford Fusion just yet, but you can get the regular model or some other Ford car for sale near Roseville, CA at Folsom Lake Ford. Come and visit us soon!