Ford Motor Company is set to debut their latest next-generation Fusion Hybrid autonomous development vehicle at CES 2017. It will have all of the features from the first-gen model, as well as better hardware and more processing power.
Ford's Next-Gen Autonomous Vehicle Development. Ford is set to release their next-generation autonomous vehicle during the Consumer Technology Association's CES 2017. The event is a global consumer technology and electronics tradeshow that takes place yearly every January in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The latest model will feature Ford's current autonomous vehicle platform with improved processing power and the latest computer hardware technology. The first Fusion Hybrid autonomous research vehicle was released by Ford three years ago. Their latest model will have new features incorporated into its system based on everything Ford has learned from the first model.
The car's electrical controls are nearly production-ready. The car will also feature new sensor technology incorporating cameras, radar, and LiDAR, which will allow the car to better see its surroundings. In addition, new LiDAR sensors will have a sleeker design and a better-targeted field of vision with just two sensors for data gathering.
In an official blog post, Chris Brewer, Chief Program Engineer at Ford Autonomous Vehicle Development shares the following questions: "How do you replicate everything a human driver does behind the wheel in a vehicle that drives itself? A simple errand to the store requires a human driver to make decisions continuously en route. Does she have the right of way? What happens if an accident or construction blocks his route?"
These are the questions which Brewer's autonomous vehicle engineering team must answer. Unlike a conventional car that will be controlled by a human driver, autonomous vehicles need to be able to replicate and mimic the driving patterns of a human being.
The next-gen Fusion Hybrid autonomous vehicle will be released just in time for CES and the North American International Auto Show in January 2017. The fully autonomous SAE level 4-capable vehicle won't be released until 2021.