Ford revealed its new autonomous vehicle, the latest Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Development Vehicle, growing its pack of self-driving cars on the public roads.
Ford plans to triple its self-driving test vehicles in 2017 from 30 to 90 total vehicles. The introduction of the new Fusion Hybrid comes just in time for CES 2017 and the North American International Show in January.
The next-generation Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Vehicle uses the current Ford autonomous vehicle platform, but with the upgrade to processing power with new computing hardware.
Current-Generation Ford Fusion Hybrid Testing For Uber
Electrical controls are nearer to production ready, and adjustments are made to the sensor technology, including its placement in the car which allows the vehicle to better see what is around it.
Ford has worked on the LIDAR technology of the new Fusion Hybrid which is sleeker and more targeted field of vision. This has resulted to shedding the sensors from four to two while still getting more data comparatively.
With the next-generation autonomous vehicle from Ford, the new vehicle also evolves the two main elements to creating autonomous vehicles - the autonomous vehicle platform, which is an upgraded version of the car, and the virtual driving system.
Ford's new driverless car technology takes over from the original fleet of 30, which hit the roads three years ago with the company aiming to have an SAE level 4-capable vehicle by 2021.
The SAE level 4 capability refers to an autonomous vehicle that is able to control all aspects of driving free from human intervention or attention, but very few situations handled by the car itself.
The Consumer Expo Show is set to open on the 3rd of January 2017 with Ford joining other automakers revealing new autonomous technologies ahead of the show.