Ford significantly increases its presence in Palo Alto by opening a new development site in Silicon Valley. They have previously had one lab there, consisting of 15 people or so, but now, as they actively grow up, it signals about the real character of developments they going to undertake to stay amongst leaders in the field.
The new development lab now embraces 100+ people and includes these areas to be further explored, continuing the work that has been already done:
• The working out of sensors’ data – the data received from many sensors like cameras (indicating street signs, the behavior of pedestrians, other vehicles, and road conditions) and the radar’s data like the distances and their changes during movement,
• Drive on different weather conditions,
• Testing of the self-driving technology in all its aspects (including interaction with the environment, people, other cars),
• Recognition of the data coming from cameras and making a prognosis on the movement of various objects, using the Internet too.
The new lab is the big attempt to make a competition to other companies that are already engaged in the self-driving technologies: Google, Volkswagen, Nissan, Kia Motors, and others. Ford hired over 85 people to complete the number of staff and over 80% of them came from the engineering and development fields, while the rest were the employees of Ford from the US and other countries, including Australia.
Company’s representative, Mark Fields, Ford CEO and president, said that they were employing the best and top talents from around the world to work in the new huge team in the Silicon Valley to make the developments going with the really fast pace as these people actually desire to change the world for the better. They also cooperate closely with Stanford University to double the number of ongoing mutual projects to solve many technical issues with the self-driving technology.
The Ford Company percepts California as the best possible location for the testing of these cars thanks to the year-round mild weather that allows not to stop tests if the weather worsens. And, besides, the officials in California have already given the permission to use Californian roads to perform such tests.
The cars will have to drive in the toughened road conditions like, for instance, with motorcycles that can legally split your lane.