Ford debuted its first modern autonomous prototype three years ago but, despite the time lapse, the design hasn’t changed much. Looks don’t say much when it comes to autonomous technology, though. The American automaker is still shooting to produce autonomous vehicles for ride-sharing services by 2021.
The Detroit-based automaker plans to launch a new set of autonomous prototypes to increase its current fleet from 30 to 90 cars. All models will be based on the Ford Fusion hybrid.
Considering that Ford has largely invested in the autonomous midsize sedan, it wouldn’t be surprising for the next-generation Ford Fusion to be the first model to debut with the advanced technology.
The automaker invested around $75 million into Velodyne and continues to use the Lidar sensors. The sensors are near the A-pillars above the side mirrors. From those spots, the sensors provide a full 360-degree view.
What can easily be mistaken for roof racks carrying skis are actually three cameras that look forward, sideways, and backwards. Those cameras come in addition to the camera behind the windshield that watches for traffic signals and pedestrians. Radar sensors of varying ranges will help keep the vehicle on track in all weather conditions.