Fleets Of Ford Autonomous Cars In 5 Years
Ford has seat-belted itself into the autonomous car trend in a big way. This past week Ford announced that it would be mass-producing self-driving cars within five years. And, for those keeping track, Ford means full Level 4 autonomy, meaning no driver needed at all.
This is not a private self-driving car for you to purchase. Ford will be creating a fleet of self-driving cars.
(Current prototype of the self-driving Ford Fusion)
"The world is changing, and it's changing very quickly," Ford CEO Mark Fields said... "Starting in 2021, if you want to get around the city without the hassle of driving or parking, Ford's new fully autonomous vehicle will be there for you," Fields said.
Although Fields cited the safety implications of autonomous cars—90 percent of traffic crashes are attributable to human error, after all—he was also enthusiastic about the possibility of making transportation more accessible to the elderly, disabled, and people too young (or too disinterested) to drive themselves.
To make that 2021 deadline, Ford is investing in lidar sensor-maker Velodyne and 3D mapping company Civil Maps. Additionally, it has acquired the machine vision company SAIPS and has entered into a licensing agreement with a second, Nirenberg Neuroscience.
And forget about more incremental steps in driver assist technologies. "Today we're looking at this differently," Nair said. "We have to take a completely different path." That means no level 3 autonomous Ford. Nair said that Ford's researchers still haven't found a satisfactory solution to the problem of returning control to a human driver in a safe manner (a level 4 car by contrast has no steering wheel and requires no human control beyond inputting the destination).
Science fiction writers have pioneered thinking about robotic taxi systems. For example, consider Larry Niven's bubble cars from World out of Time (1976) or the tin cabbie from James Blish's 1957 novel Cities in Flight. And don't forget the autocab from Robert Heinlein's 1951 novel Between Planets.
A more recent take on the robot taxi idea can be found in Alan Dean Foster's 2006 novel Sagramanda; see the automated taxi:
...he urgently addressed the vehicle's AI."Can't we go any faster? I'm already running late."
Since the taxi utilized sophisticated electronic sensors to perceive its surroundings, the traditional forward windshield existed only to allow fares to see where they were going. The vehicle was as aware of this as its passenger.
"As you can see, sir, this is a very busy street, and I am forbidden by law and by coding from forcing a path..."
All were equipped with the same city-regulated programming.
Via Ars Technica.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/12/2016)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Musk Tweets A Boring Tunnel Pic
'We hit the sub-basement and went at once to the express tubes...' - Robert Heinlein, 1956.
Tesla Electric Automatobus Prototype Spotted?
Those buses need to feed on something.
easyJet Short-Haul Electric Jets
Have a little faith, will you? They're working on it.
Hyperloop One Video Shows It Works!
'Complete evacuation of the interior of the tubes [and] a wave that provides the new propulsive energy for the cars...' Hard Vincent, 1929.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Made In Space To Manufacture Optical Fiber In Orbit
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'
Dune Fans! Power Your Devices With Sweaty Shirts
Yet another power source from humans.
Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'
Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.
Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'
NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.
Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'
SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'
Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'
Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'
Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.
Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?
Elon Musk Fears A 'Fleet-Wide Hack' Of Autonomous Vehicles
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''
China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'
iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.
Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories