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Ford to Expand Autonomous Fleet for 2017

January 04, 2017

Photo courtesy of Ford.
Photo courtesy of Ford.

Ford Motor Co. is once again tripling the size of its fully autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid test vehicles for 2017.

In January 2016, Ford announced that it was adding 20 more autonomous hybrid vehicles to its fleet to a total of 30, but last week the automaker announced that it was tripling that number to 90.

Chris Brewer, chief program engineer for Ford’s Autonomous Vehicle Development, wrote in a blog post that Ford is testing the autonomous Fusion Hybrids in Michigan, California, and Arizona.

He also noted that the latest version of the vehicle has improved upon processing power of the previous test version, due to new computer hardware

“Electrical controls are closer to production-ready, and adjustments to the sensor technology, including placement, allow the car to better see what’s around it,” Brewer wrote. “New LiDAR sensors have a sleeker design and more targeted field of vision, which enables the car to now use just two sensors rather than four, while still getting just as much data.”

The new test vehicle will be displayed for the first time at CES in Las Vegas, which is held Jan. 5 to 8. It will be on display during media days at the North American International Auto Show as well, according to The Detroit News.

Ford in 2016 said it would offer a fully autonomous vehicle in 2021.

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