Ford, MIT, Stanford to partner on automated driving research
Automaker’s Fusion Hybrid research vehicle looks to add driving behavior prediction and ability to peer around obstacles.
Ford announced that it will partner with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University to boost the capabilities of its Ford Fusion Hybrid research vehicle unveiled last month. According to the company, automated driving is a key component of its Blueprint for Mobility initiative, which outlines what transportation will look in the coming decade.
Like other robotic cars, Ford’s Fusion Hybrid research vehicle uses four LiDAR sensors to generate a real-time 3D map of the vehicle’s surrounding environment. Through its research with MIT, the company hopes to add algorithms that will allow the system to predict where surrounding vehicles and pedestrians will be and then plot a path to avoid them.
Researchers at Stanford are investigating how the sensors could peer around obstacles and take evasive action if needed. For example, if the truck ahead slammed on its brakes, the vehicle would know if the area around it is clear to safely change lanes.
“Our goal is to provide the vehicle with common sense,” said Greg Stevens, global manager for driver assistance and active safety, Ford research and innovation. “Drivers are good at using the cues around them to predict what will happen next, and they know that what you can’t see is often as important as what you can see. Our goal in working with MIT and Stanford is to bring a similar type of intuition to the vehicle.”