Geo Week News

September 21, 2016

Ford’s Autonomous Car Sees the World Like This

The view from inside the autonomous vehicle's mapping unit.

IEEE Spectrum has just taken a ride in Ford’s Self-Driving car, making this reporter feel very envious.

Before we get to the video, it’s worth mentioning one great detail from the article: Ford is designing their car to be modular so that they don’t have to depend on any particular hardware. This is a very smart move on Ford’s part when you consider that publications are often full of news about products that haven’t been released yet (sorry about that). After all, what if they design the car around a technology that never comes to fruition?

Ford seems especially skeptical about the possibility of solid-state LiDAR actually hitting the market any time soon. Randal Visintainer, the director of Ford’s autonomous vehicle program told IEEE that “a lot of suppliers have been talking about lidar-on-a-chip for ridiculously cheap prices, but I haven’t seen one yet.”

The drive itself was fairly straightforward—Ford’s cars navigated streets that had been previously mapped, and compared its onboard data against real-time data from its LiDAR, cameras, radar, and ultrasound sensors.

Here’s what it looked like:

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