Ford Tests Autonomous Fusion With Night Vision Sensor


The Ford LiDAR Night Vision Sensor Technology

New Delhi, 12th April 2016: As a part of its ongoing extensive research and development of autonomous driving technology on the Fusion Hybrid sedan model, Ford has developed a path breaking night vision technology for its vehicles. Named as LiDAR, the sensor technology can enable the vehicle to drive itself even in the situation where there is pitch-black darkness.

The Ford's autonomous vehicle research program is now over a decade old and this year Ford will triple the fleet of its test vehicle to as much as 30 self-driving Fusion Hybrid sedans which will ply on the roads of California, Arizona and Michigan.

In simple words, you are stuck in a situation where there are no street-lights and your Ford car's headlight is not working or not powerful enough for autonomous driving, don't worry! the LiDAR sensor technology will make your Ford autonomous car a safe bet to drive in such pitch-dark condition. Just relax and enjoy the music inside the car or just take a nap while you reach your destination.
The LiDAR Night Vision Sensor Technology
The LiDAR Night Vision Sensor Technology
In technical terms, Ford self-driving cars use high-resolution 3D maps – complete with information about the road, road markings, geography, topography and landmarks like signs, buildings and trees. The vehicle uses LiDAR pulses to pinpoint itself on the map in real time. Additional data from radar gets fused with that of LiDAR to complete the full sensing capability of the autonomous vehicle.

The Ford LiDAR Night Vision Sensor Technology

For the desert test, Ford engineers, sporting night-vision goggles, monitored the Fusion from inside and outside the vehicle. Night vision allowed them to see the LiDAR doing its job in the form of a grid of infrared laser beams projected around the vehicle as it drove past. LiDAR sensors shoot out 2.8 million laser pulses a second to precisely scan the surrounding environment. 
“Inside the car, I could feel it moving, but when I looked out the window, I only saw darkness,” describes Wayne Williams, a Ford research scientist and engineer. “As I rode in the back seat, I was following the car’s progression in real time using computer monitoring. Sure enough, it stayed precisely on track along those winding roads.”
The Ford LiDAR Night Vision Sensor Technology


Watch how the LiDAR sensor technology works



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About Vivek Manjarekar

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