Ford unveils new self-driving test vehicle for 2022 launch

Ford Motor plans to launch its self-driving vehicle companies in 2022 with autos based mostly on its Escape Hybrid crossover.


Ford Motor plans to launch its self-driving industrial enterprise in 2022 with autos based mostly on the Ford Escape Hybrid crossover, the corporate stated Tuesday.

The autos are the automaker’s fourth-generation self-driving test autos in partnership with Argo AI, a Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle start-up. Ford and German automaker Volkswagen AG cut up an 80% majority stake within the firm earlier this yr.

Ford stated the autos will start testing this month alongside its present fleet of roughly 100 autonomous test autos which can be based mostly off the Fusion Hybrid sedan, which the corporate is now not producing.

The next-generation autos embody “launch-intent” applied sciences which can be wanted to assist commercialization, in keeping with John Davis, chief engineer of Ford’s autonomous vehicle subsidiary.

“With our fourth-generation test vehicle, we have everything we need from a vehicle to stand up our self-driving service,” Davis wrote in a Medium put up Tuesday

The upgrades embody greater decision cameras, extra succesful radar sensors and extra superior Lidar know-how, which makes use of lasers to map surrounding areas.

Ford plans to combine the new autos into test fleets in Austin, Texas; Detroit; Miami; Palo Alto, California; Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.

Ford initially deliberate to launch a industrial self-driving vehicle enterprise in 2021 however delayed it till 2022, citing delays because of the coronavirus pandemic. It additionally beforehand introduced plans to make use of a purpose-built autonomous vehicle with out handbook controls comparable to a steering wheel and pedals for its industrial fleet.

A Ford spokesman on Tuesday confirmed that these plans stay intact however will likely be based mostly on a number of components, together with security, laws and neighborhood acceptance of self-driving autos.

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