Ford Motor Company has announced that it is introducing its next-generation Fusion hybrid autonomous development vehicle at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas next week, and then at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The development vehicle is based on the current Ford autonomous vehicle platform. The company says, however, the development vehicle gets better processing power with new computer hardware. Ford also claims that the car's electrical controls are almost production-ready.
The autonomous development vehicle also features LiDAR sensors with a wider field of vision. This, in turn, enables the car to use only two sensors rather than four.
The American carmaker is aiming to build fully autonomous cars (level 4) for ride sharing by 2021, and the fully autonomous Fusion hybrid cars are part of Ford's 10-year autonomous car development programme, called Ford Smart Mobility. Since January 2016, Ford has been testing these autonomous cars in California, USA.
In order to strengthen its research, Ford has acquired Israel-based SAIPS for its expertise in artificial intelligence and computer vision, invested in Civil Maps, a California-based company pioneer in 3D mapping capabilities, and Velodyne, a leader in LiDAR sensors systems.