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 |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Griff 300 Octocopter Carries You And Friend
'The cab came floating down out of the sky...' - James Blish, 1957.
British Airways To Offer An Ingestible Sensor To Passengers
The modern way to get feedback from passengers.
Vahana, The Airbus Flying Taxi
'The cab came floating down out of the sky at the intersection.'
Hi-Yo Modobag! Away!
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity...' - Robert Heinlein, 1941.
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.
PassivDom 3D Printed House - What If You Could Live Anywhere?
'The houses are prefabricated units...'
Breakthrough In Manufacture Of Red Blood Cells
This blood's for you!
Caihong Solar-Powered Drone 'Atmospheric Satellite'
'... placed in the wings of a plane to generate power from the light falling on that surface.'
NASA Wants Low Earth Orbit Wifi
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'
Is Genetic Testing At Businesses A Bad Idea?
It's not a topic that fares well in science fiction movies-
Wearable Smart Jacket
He pressed the button in his sleeve communicator and snapped: 'Action stations!'
Store One Bit On One Atom
'...each individual molecule has a meaning.'
Fluorescent Bacteria Fashion
'The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools.'
Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'
When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'
LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'
Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'
Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'
Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'
The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'
Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories