All autonomous vehicles are now raging in the auto industry these days. Google, for example, is striving for completely driverless cars. However, as a contender of other car makers, lately Ford has unveiled its first autonomous vehicle prototype.
The ‘Automated Fusion Hybrid Research Vehicle’ is the first autonomous prototype that Ford has publicly shown. The company is apparently planning to continue work on making cars more autonomous by leveraging the currently existing systems and technologies.
To make the vehicle more autonomous, Ford has added new scanning systems which allow the vehicle to be cognizant of its position as well as the location of surrounding objects. The new prototype from the auto-maker comes with four small scanners poking rather funnily out of its heads.
These scanners are able to get a 360-degree view of the vehicle’s surroundings, in 3D. The company plans to use this information to make the vehicle more autonomous so that it can drive on, speed up and brake without the need for a human driver’s directions.
It is important to note here that Ford has clearly stated that it doesn’t plan to create driverless cars like Google. Rather, the company says that it merely wants to bring more autonomy to vehicles so that they would be more convenient to use and drive but not entirely and self-sufficiently independent in their driving.
According to Ford executive Raj Nair, “With the automated Ford Fusion Hybrid research project, our goal is to test the limits of full automation and determine the appropriate levels for near- and mid-term deployment.”
One possible reason why Ford is stopping short of fully driverless cars could be that driverless vehicles have to overcome a lot of legal barriers before they go mainstream. Gradually adding more and more autonomy to the vehicles, on the other hand, is a safe course.