• We are currently looking for experienced automotive journalists and editors to join our team.  Make $60k-$80k per year doing what you love. We are also looking for an experienced forum moderator to join our team. See details here. ×

Ford Is Tripling Its Autonomous Vehicle Testing Fleet

Sponsored Links

Ford Motor Company has announced plans to triple the size of its autonomous vehicle testing fleet, from 10 vehicles to 30, while continuing to use the Fusion Hybrid mid-size sedan as a basis.

This news comes on the heels of an announcement that the automaker had secured a permit to begin testing autonomous vehicles on public roads in California. Already, self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrids have taken to the streets of Michigan, in addition to testing at Ford’s proving grounds, and the University of Michigan’s 32-acre MCity simulated urban environment. The 20 new autonomous vehicles being added to Ford’s fleet will use the latest LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) sensors available from supplier Velodyne, named “Solid-State Hybrid Ultra Puck.”

According to Ford Technical Leader for Autonomous Vehicles Jim McBride, Velodyne’s new Ultra Puck is smaller and more affordable than previous iterations of the LIDAR sensor. That’s on top of offering a longer range of 200 meters, and a more targeted field-of-view. Because of this, Ford will be able to reduce the number of LIDAR sensors on its new third-generation autonomous vehicle development platform, from four to two.

Sponsored Links

“Using the most advanced technology and expanding our test fleet are clear signs of our commitment to make autonomous vehicles available for millions of people,” says Ford Executive VP of Global Product Development Raj Nair. “With more autonomous vehicles on the road, we are accelerating the development of software algorithms that serve to make our vehicles even smarter.”

Ford Motor Company last summer officially shifted from the research phase of its autonomous vehicle program to the advanced engineering phase.

Sponsored Links
Sponsored Links

Subscribe to Ford Authority
For around-the-clock Ford news coverage


We'll send you one email per day with the latest Ford updates.

It's totally free.

  • Want to see your Ford vehicle or build featured on Ford Authority? We welcome your submissions. See here for details. ×

Written by Aaron Brzozowski

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ford SYNC Could Be Made To Integrate With ‘Smart’ Home Products

Ford Wants To Pair Drones With The Ford F-150