While nearly the entire automotive world is focused at testing autonomous cars in normal weather conditions. Ford is step ahead with a prototype of the self-driving cars testing in snowy conditions.
Last-week at CES 2016, the company had announced that it plans to launch 13 electric cars by 2020. Staying true to its words, Ford has already commenced testing its fully autonomous prototypes cars in the snow in a 32-acre closed-course model city built by the University of Michigan. Although not official, there are reports that Google and Ford are in talks to build self-driving cars.
The regular driverless cars use Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) sensors to build a detailed view of the world around them. This sensors fail to work during heavy snowfalls and rains because the sensors they use to detect road markings and hazards do not work well in wintery weather. Ford says the answer lies in special 3-D maps, developed with the University of Michigan.
— Ford Motor Company (@Ford) January 11, 2016
Thus, the motoring giant Ford has used high-resolution 3D mapping technology to read signs, major landmarks and different geography at all times. This technology is allowed the car to navigate the road even when visibility was poor. These sensors are used as the camera and store the highly detailed maps during good weather in the vehicle’s memory. Then, when the weather turns rough, the car uses the maps with a combination of traction and electronic stability control to continue driving.
Ford says it hopes to be able to program the driverless cars to sense when conditions are too rough and to stop driving.
Checkout the video on Ford’s driverless cars, after a jump.
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