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Ford is teaming up with Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University to pursue further research into automated driving technology, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“To deliver on our vision for the future of mobility, we need to work with many new partners across the public and private sectors, and we need to start today,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer. “Working with university partners like MIT and Stanford enables us to address some of the longer-term challenges surrounding automated driving while exploring more near-term solutions for delivering an even safer and more efficient driving experience.”
So far, the technology has been designed to assist the driver, but the future could have cars that take over driving responsibilities altogether.
The project with Massachusetts Institute of Technology uses algorithms to predict the actions of other vehicles and pedestrians and find the safest route. The Stanford project tackles the problem of how to enable sensors to see past obstructions, such as detecting the braking of a vehicle that is two cars ahead.
In December, Ford introduced its Fusion Hybrid research vehicle that has all Ford’s driving assist features and adds four LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors to create a real-time 3D map of the vehicle’s surroundings. The research vehicle was created in partnership with the University of Michigan and State Farm. It represents a decade’s worth of research into autonomous driving.
The work is part of Ford’s Blueprint for Mobility that envisions what roads and vehicles will look like in 2015 in an attempt to tackle issues such as congestion.