Ford enlists MIT, Stanford to drive automated cars

MIT is working on developing an algorithm to avoid pedestrians and other cars by figuring out where they will be in the future

Ford announced Wednesday that it hopes that researchers at MIT can come up with advanced algorithms to help the vehicle learn to predict where other vehicles and pedestrians could be in the future.

Ford announced Wednesday that it hopes that researchers at MIT can come up with advanced algorithms to help the vehicle learn to predict where other vehicles and pedestrians could be in the future.

Ford is enlisting top U.S. universities to make self-driving cars a reality, announcing Wednesday that it hopes researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology can come up with advanced algorithms to help vehicles learn where pedestrians and other automobiles will be located.

"We're using data from the sensors both on board and off board," said Jonathan How, director of the MIT-Ford Alliance and a professor of aeronautics at MIT. He said that the system isn't just using the car's Lidar system, which captures a 3D view of its surroundings using spinning cameras, but crosswalk signs and traffic lights.

See a demonstration of self-driving cars in a video on YouTube.

If the car knows whether a traffic light is red or green or whether a crosswalk sign is illuminated, it will have even more information than what is collected by the car's sensors. It might also be able to avoid an accident with a car that runs a red light.

"Having the sensors work in all conditions are issues that are fundamental to the problem," he said. How the sensors need to work in daylight, darkness, snow, rain and other weather conditions with the same reliability.

While the ultimate goal is to have an automated, driverless car, MIT is taking smaller steps to get towards the goal. How and his team of students are working to bring autonomous shuttles to MIT campus in Cambridge. He said he hopes to have golf-cart size prototypes on campus later this year, moving to something more permanent in the future. He said that the vehicles would have "safety drivers" just in case.

"The goal is to basically have a mobility on demand system," he said. Within two years, How imagines that all of the university's campus would be covered and students could order shuttles using an application on their smartphones.

On the west coast, Stanford University researchers are tasked with helping cars see around obstacles. For example, when a vehicle is blocked by a large truck, it would be able to maneuver inside the lane to see what is beyond the obstruction. It would be able to take actions based on what it learns. Maybe it would wait for the obstruction to clear or it might determine that it is safe to pass the truck.

Automated driving is part of what Ford calls its Blueprint for Mobility, which attempts to imagine the roads in 2025 and beyond. The company said that it is exploring all of the different components of automated driving including both the technological and legal hurdles.

Tags popular scienceAutomotiveroboticsindustry verticalsFordMITStanford University

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nick Barber

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?