Ford will be sending a few of their cars to university, specifically Stanford and MIT, to learn how to drive themselves. Ford is exploring automated driving, something that the company expects will be a major feature on roads worldwide in the next ten years or so, and the two educational institutes involved have different points of exploration in the project.
Stanford will working on sensor technology, with a focus on making sure that sensors in the vehicle can see past or through obstacles effectively. An example citing is that of an automated car driving behind a truck. If the truck brakes heavily, Ford wants their cars to know whether it is safe to swerve past the larger vehicle even if the driver can’t see beyond it.
MIT has another aim in mind, being tasked with predicting where vehicles, pedestrians and other things you don’t want to drive into will be, based on their movements. MIT is developing a system that will allow an automated vehicles to navigate a field of moving obstacles.
Ford’s Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and Vice President of Ford research and innovation, said “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. ”