Ford Partnering With Startups For Driverless Vehicle Development
In near future we will see dozens of brands in the segment of fully autonomous vehicle. Ford too is leaned developing one and to launch it by 2021. It will come without a steering wheel or pedals and will be aimed at ride-hailing and ride-sharing fleets.
Ford said it is working with several start-ups like LIDAR sensor making company Velodyne and acquired computer vision and machine learning software maker SAIPS.
The company has made an exclusive licensing agreement with “virtual retina” technology company Nirenberg Neuroscience, LLC. It has investment in 3D-mapping company Civil Maps too.
Ford is spending heavily on its research and innovation center in Palo Alto and by the end of 2017 the team strength would be doubled at the facility.
As of now Ford is not in the state of showing a vehicle, or even talking about the look of it, but it is now more focused on getting the hardware and software ready. The goal is to make the driverless car to SAE Level 4 standard of automation that can handle all aspects of driving.
Vice President Ken Washington of Ford’s Research and Advanced Engineering said, “In a ride service, you could imagine that the defined environment or area might be large enough to take a customer from a city center to an airport or a seaport.”
Earlier this year Ford, Google and Uber joined formed together an autonomous car lobbying group that will work in getting governments to write regulations.