As car manufacturers around the world are advancing into the aspect of driverless cars, there hasn’t been much announced by Ford. Now the silence has been broken, and Indianapolis Ford dealerships are thrilled to know that progress is being made. Ford CEO Mark Fields made a keynote announcement in Barcelona earlier this year offering details on what to expect from Ford in this exciting new segment.
Auto and Mobility
For many, the idea of mobility covers the auto aspect, but in Ford’s eyes these are two different things that need to be merged in order to offer well rounded transportation options for everyone. There have been investments made in several different high-tech initiatives by Ford, one of which is the effort to develop a driverless vehicle. Communication, computerization, automation, integration, and a few other “ations” are being blended by designers and engineers to create a car that operates independently of the driver.
In the area of driverless vehicles, Ford is performing major renovations and changes to the Ford Fusion sedan. Apparently this will be the flagship vehicle of automated driving for Ford. There are already popular automated features, such as parking assist, lane change alerts, and rear view cameras that assist drivers in several areas.
The advancements in these areas appear to be coming slowly, but the technical lead for autonomous vehicle development for Ford, Jim McBride, says that the company is pursuing this goal relentlessly. Ford’s goal of a car not requiring any human interaction may be closer than we think.
“We’re not going to ask the driver to intervene. We just don’t think it’s a fair proposition to drive for many miles and suddenly it stops running and says, ‘Hey, now it’s your turn,’” he says. The company wants to create a fully autonomous vehicle that will keep cars within lanes and keep a constant speed, as well as one that will stop when necessary and signal lane changes.
While Ford is making progress with automation, the main challenge is making sure that a driverless car is safe for not only the passengers in the vehicle, but other cars on the road as well. Computer systems, alerts, and other safety features will be integrated into the new Fusion in order to test and prepare for automation. The safety features are one thing, but the actual safety of having cars on the road without human interaction is something that is being debated.
There is no projected release date for full automation, but as new features are added to vehicles every model year, the goal of a driverless car gets closer and closer. Some drivers are excited, while others are leery. How enjoyable will it be to “drive” a driverless car? For those who enjoy driving, these potential vehicles are probably not sources of excitement, but, for others who cannot drive for medical reasons or other problems, this could mean life changing freedom.
Visit Bloomington Ford LINCOLN, your local Indianapolis Ford dealership, to see the advances and new vehicle features as they are released to the public.