Ford to test driverless cars in California next year

Company is latest to join the state's autonomous vehicle testing program

Ford will begin testing a fully autonomous version of its Fusion Hybrid on California streets in 2016, becoming the latest major automaker to put driverless car technology to the test on real roads.

The tests are expected to take place near its research and development center in Palo Alto. The center opened in January this year and brings together more than 100 researchers, engineers and scientists and is one of several R&D centers operated by major automakers in Silicon Valley.

The prototype autonomous Ford Fusion is distinctive for the four LIDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors mounted on its roof. The sensors have lasers with rotating mirrors inside that allow them to perform an all-round scan of the area.

Most prototype autonomous cars use the same scanners and match the images with a database of prerecorded images to determine where the car is at any given moment.

mark fields autonomous driving 12 15 Ford

Ford CEO Mark Fields poses with the autonomous Fusion at the company's research lab in Palo Alto, California.

Google's self-driving cars are already a familiar sight on the roads in Palo Alto and neighboring Mountain View, where the company has its Google X research center. At 73, according to statistics from late September, the Google fleet is the largest of any company authorized by the state's Department of Motor Vehicles, but it's far from the only one.

Tesla, which is also based in Palo Alto, had licenses for 12 cars.

Mercedes Benz had the third largest fleet at 5 cars and is followed by Volkswagen, Delphi, Bosch, Nissan and Cruise Automation with 2 cars each. BMW and Honda each had one autonomous car licensed in the state, according to the latest DMV data.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?