For some time now, autonomous vehicles have been tested in California. Now, it seems, they will be taking to the roads. California’s DMV has proposed a new law that would allow autonomous vehicles on the city streets- as long as there is a licensed driver sitting in the driver’s seat.
Starting in January, Ford will begin testing its self-driving Fusion Hybrid sedans near its Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto. The Michigan-based auto manufacturer set up shop in the Silicon Valley in early 2015 with just 15 employees. The outfit has flourished to 100 employees and is about to take to the California streets with its autonomous vehicles.
In the initial phase, testing will consist of comprehensive route-mapping, and be limited to only one sensor-packed Fusion Hybrid. In the latter half of 2016, Ford may consider using additional test cars once driverless miles start being recorded.
A faux metropolis called Mcity, just outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan will also be used exclusively to test the Fusion Hybrids. Ford will rival Google now in its tireless mission to achieve fully self-driving technology, while simultaneously supplementing its existing vehicles with driver-assist features.
Executives behind Google Self–Driving Car have long stated that their objective is to partner with an established auto manufacturer, rather than build the autonomous vehicles on their own. For six years now, Google has been scrutinizing its Lexus along with other prototype automobiles in Mountain View, California, and more currently in Austin, Texas.
Mercedes-Benz is another auto manufacturer that threw its hat, and funds, into the self-driving car technology ring. At the Consumer Electronics Show last January, the luxury automaker introduced its Luxury in Motion prototype. Some manufacturers, such as Audi, BMW and Tesla, among others, are devoting their resources to enhance driver-assist technology. These vehicles require some level of interaction from human drivers, for instance, periodically touching the steering wheel while the vehicle is navigating down the road.
The transportation for hire pioneer UBER has shown an interest in the self-driving car realm by hiring several researchers and engineers at the robotics-centered Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg. Not to be left out of the next technological revolution, Apple has reportedly been collaborating with engineers at Tesla in an effort to develop its own vehicle.
The staff growth at Ford’s Palo Alto think tank has chiefly been from the tech sector, with 80% of its new employees transferring from technology companies and the remainder coming from other areas of the Ford dynasty itself. Ford has aspirations of doubling its number of collaborative efforts in the coming year to 13. Transportation researchers from Stanford University will join the team for these endeavors.
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While self-driving cars may be the wave of the future, today’s cars are still driven by humans. This means that car accidents still happy on a daily basis. When another person’s negligence leads to your injury, you have a legal right to seek compensation for your injury and for any damages. Call Lakewood car accident attorney Robert Paysinger today to discuss your case. Our law firm offers FREE case consultations and can be reached at 303.279.0221.
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