The Ford Motor Company has announced that it will begin testing fully autonomous Fusion Hybrid cars in the state of California, USstarting January 2016. The company has enrolled itself in the California Autonomous Vehicle Testing programme. These tests are part of Ford's 10-year autonomous car development programme called Ford Smart Mobility.
The company says that it chose California owing to its mild weather that will allow year-round testing. California also has diverse traffic situations which will help the cars pick-updifferent traffic patterns and types of road users.Ford has already set up a research centre in Palo Alto, California. It has 100 researchers, engineers and scientists and about 80 per cent of them have been hired from the ITfields.
The challenge for autonomous cars is to recognise pedestrians, road signs and hazards. Ford is trying to ensure that its system is fail safe through these tests.
A large number of carmakers such as Volkswagen, Nissan and even Internet giant Google have been testing self-driven cars for quite some time now and there has been no definite commercial launch announcedby any of them yet.