How Do Ford Autonomous Vehicles See?

Lately, automobile companies have all been getting into the autonomous vehicle game, and Ford is hitting the ground running.

In January 2017, the American car company will show off its next-generation Fusion Hybrid autonomous development car at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the North American International Auto Show.

How Does the Autonomous Vehicle See?

Ford engineers want to make sure it can detect all of the distractions and disruptions everyday drivers normally encounter on their way from point A to point B. According to Chris Brewer, Chief Program Engineer for Ford Autonomous Vehicle Development, based on conventional and anticipated technology, Ford is working on building two methods of perception into the cars’ virtual driver system.

Meditated and Direct Perception Systems

Meditated perception means producing high-resolution 3D maps of the surrounding environment including things like stop signs and crosswalks. The virtual driver uses its LiDAR, camera sensors, and radar to scan the area and compare the findings to what it reads on the map. This type of perception also knows the rules of the road, so you don’t have to worry about potential hazards such as errant lane changes or random braking. Direct perception complements mediated perception by using sensors to determine the car’s position on the road, while monitoring pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles.

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