Ford enlists Stanford, MIT for driverless car research

Ford hopes that MIT and Stanford researchers can make its autonomous car smarter.

(Credit: Ford)

Behind the wheel, your brain does a lot of processing you take for granted, such as calculating the paths and speeds of nearby vehicles so you can successfully make a lane merge. Ford is turning to Stanford and MIT researchers to come up with computer algorithms to mimic that processing of environmental data.

Last month, Ford showed off the Fusion Hybrid autonomous car research vehicle, fitted with four lidar sensors, it was using to develop future driverless systems. The company will implement new algorithms developed at the universities to test these driving behaviors in the cars.

MIT gets to take on the task of predictive path analysis based on current sensor data. The researchers can look at the path and speed of a car, and use physics to determine where that car is likely to be at a set time in the future, such as 10 seconds, 30 seconds, and possibly a full minute. Likewise, the algorithm could determine where that other vehicle could not possibly end up in the same amount of time.

Ford added these lidar sensors to the Fusion Hybrid to improve its environmental modeling.

(Credit: Ford)

A predictive algorithm such as this could tell an autonomous… [Read more]


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