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 |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Transportation ")

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

Volvo's Self-Driving Mining Trucks
'A procession of automatic ore carts was racing over the bleak slag' - Philip K. Dick, 1955

Musk Declares Tesla Supercharger Capacity Will Double By Next Year
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'- John Jacob Astor IV, 1894.

Ford's Autonomous Cabs 'Transportation As A Service'
'He was glad to crawl into his autocab and close the cover.' - Robert Heinlein, 1951.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'

Shrimp Actually Made Of Algae Is A New Wave Food
Bring in that crop algae.

Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'

Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...'

WINE Spacecraft To Extract Water From Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Japanese Swordsmiths Take On Asteroids
'... a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk.'

Saturn's Rings To Vanish, Let's Mine Them While We Can
'...the valuable shards of what had once been satellites.'

Humans Could Take Up A LOT Less Space
We'd have a lot more room for gardening...

Implosion Fabrication Shrinks 3D Objects To Nanoscale
'Carter had watched miniaturization a hundred times...'

GMO Houseplant Cleans Your Air
Removes compounds too small to be captured by a HEPA filter.

Nova Meat Can 3D Print Your Dinner
Printing out chicken nuggets.

MIT Scientists Create 'Peek-a-Boo Prober' From Jetsons
Well, George, it's the latest thing.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.