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 |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Transportation ")

UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
I'd rather just call one to my front yard, please.

Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Your underground future is almost here!

Is Teleportation A Death Sentence?
'A long trail of dead, he thought, left across the stars...' - Clifford Simak, 1963.

Musk Tweets A Boring Tunnel Pic
'We hit the sub-basement and went at once to the express tubes...' - Robert Heinlein, 1956.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.'

You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.'

Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'

Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.

Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.

Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'

Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.

Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...

Galini 3D Printed Sleeping Pod Tiny Houses
'The houses are prefabricated units...'

MIT Boffins Create Psychopath AI On Purpose
There's a lesson in this for neural net AI engineers everywhere.

Skin Electronics 3D Printed
'June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry...'

Artificial Sensory Neurons For Prosthetics, Robots
Great for humans and robots!

China Uses Artificial Intelligence To Grade Student Papers
Looks like the City Fathers are starting to take over China's education system.

Electronic Tongues Will Rule The Kitchen
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.