Ford stepping up research into driverless vehicles

The Ford Motor Company's aim of creating the world's first production-ready driverless car has stepped up a gear, with the famous marque said to be working alongside two of America's leading universities to research the project.

Famous for implementing the latest advancements in technology into all the latest Ford Fiesta, Mondeo and other vehicles in their fleet, the manufacturers announced earlier this week that it will be working alongside the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stamford University to develop a vehicle which can cruise the streets without the need for human intervention.

As already demonstrated in a specially-created Fusion Hybrid research vehicle, the concept will make use of a group of four LiDar sensors which transmit signals to measure distances between the vehicle and stationary objects, thus creating a 3D map of oncoming dangers on the road.

Taking the project further, the experts at MIT will be looking at how the car can most accurately predict the actions of pedestrians; Stanford, meanwhile, is researching a technique which would allow a vehicle to see beyond obstructions, making the travelling experience as safe as possible, whether the car is being operated automatically or by a human.  

A glimpse into motoring future

For example, if a car blocked from the driver's view immediately in front brakes suddenly, they will be sent a prompt warning that should ensure evasive action is taken. In cases when the automated drive mode is on, the vehicle would be able to automatically brake or change lanes.

Ford has also been working on a unique network through which potential dangers could be sent to other vehicles in the vicinity, helping to make day-to-day driving safer.

While the possibility of a driverless new or pre-owned Ford Focus may still be years away, this dedicated research shows the passion and desire of the company to provide the latest and best technology for all their customers.

Image Credit: Ford Dealer Marketing