Ford Increases Number of Self-Driving Test Cars; Fleet Expansion Is Clearly On the Way [VIDEO]

Dec 29, 2016 07:33 AM EST | Leonora Puno

Ford Motor Co. has expanded its fleet of 10 autonomous Fusion Hybrids by adding 20 more driverless test vehicles, making the fleet 30.  A pioneer in the field of developing autonomous cars but with new companies joining the race to the future of auto industry, Ford has to be ahead of them to be the leader.

Ford Motor Co. is in the process of building its driverless ride-hailing fleet, which is slated to be introduced by 2021. These cars are totally autonomous, which means that they do not require the presence of a human controller. While the original members of the fleet had four lidars sensors and a range of 200 feet, the newest addition to the fleet will only have two lidar sensors but with a range of 600 feet, which surpassed the range of the original cars used for testing, according to Automotive News.

The Fusion Hybrid of Ford Motor Co. will have to compete with big names in the autonomous car industry such as autonomous Chevy Bolts, Waymo's self-driving vehicles and Uber. Ford Motor Co. will add more to its self-driving cars next year to triple the size of the fleet now. This means by 2017, there will be 90 Fusion Hybrids taking to the roads. The latest addition to the fleet will have three cameras with several high-end computers hidden in the trunk to augment its computational power, according to Forbes.

Ford Motor Co. has given attention to the appearance of its latest generation driverless cars to be added to its fleet. The first generation cars can be identified as self-driving by the cameras and lidars mounted on the roof. This time, the look is more refined with everything hidden from those who do not have any idea where to look for them, according to Electrek.

The latest generation of the Fusion Hybrids of the Ford Motor Co. will be shown at the CES and the North American Auto Show in January, 2017.

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