Ford company has just recently presented the new version of self-propelling car Ford Fusion that has fewer LIDARs on its surface and now they are located not on the roof, but on the antennas from passenger’s and driver’s front doors.
This step has these sides in its background:
• The large enhancement in the technology – the number of LIDAR sensors were reduced to 2 from 4 as they can generate the same quantity of data that was previously obtained from 4 of them.
• The data quantity even grew bigger – now it is 1 Tb of data every hour in the active working state.
• The data is processed by the enlarged productivity of the on-base central computer that is located in the trunk of a car, and the entire 1 Tb of data is processed to supply the seamless driving experience.
• As the LIDARs were enhanced, there is no necessity to hold them on the roof anymore (as it was with the previous model that looked as something otherworldly with these 4 rotating sensors), and the Ford company clearly went on the way to make the new generation of cars more streamlined. Now they can be confused with ordinary models that roaming the streets.
The result like this has become possible to the work done in the acquired company, Velodyne, that received 150 million dollars of investments from Ford and Baidu, the Chinese company. It seems like they will move towards the enhancement of LIDAR system and cooperation with the other acquired or invested-in companies to progress to the goal gradually.
There is the big leap towards the creation of the promised autonomous car without gears, steering wheel, and pedals in 2021 in the frames to create the fleet of drive-sharing cars.
Ford is in the middle of tripling the number of their self-driving cars (that must be finished by the end of 2017) and they have already unveiled plans to start testing in Europe – the UK and Germany, for a start. Now they are running own vehicles in Arizona, California, and Detroit only.
Most analytics say that it is an extremely good thing to drive the cars on the public roads, as in this way the company acquires much knowledge about the behavior of cars in the real-life conditions, including interaction with the road, weather, pedestrians, and other vehicles.