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Ford Starts Road-Testing Autonomous Vehicles This Year


Ford announced they will soon start testing of their autonomous vehicle technology on public roads in California, after enrolling in the California Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program. Silicon Valley residents will see fully-autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans driving on the streets in 2016, with engineers from the Ford Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto on board as part of the company’s 10-year autonomous vehicle development program.

A team of more than 100 researchers, engineers and scientists now reside at Ford’s automotive research center, making it one of the largest in the region. The new research lab opened last January and has helped expand Ford’s presence in Silicon Valley.

The Ford Research and Innovation Center has been attracting some top talent from around the world, with 80 percent of the team coming from the technology sector and the remaining 20 percent being Ford employees from the U.S., China, Germany and Australia.

Advancements in autonomous vehicle technology have been made over the past year at the Silicon Valley facility, including an autonomous vehicle virtual test drive study. This has allowed researchers to better understand and develop responses to unexpected things that could happen on the road without the need to perform real-world tests.

Ford engineers have also developed sensor fusion technology, which uses a variety of sensors on autonomous vehicles to track objects and provide and 360-degree view of the cars surroundings. This technology allows the vehicle to see and interpret street signs, other vehicles and pedestrians.

The company has also built relationships with many top universities, and has expanded its collaboration with Stanford University. Ford and Stanford will be collaborating on 13 projects together in 2016, covering the five areas of Ford Smart Mobility, which is more than double this year’s total.

Learn more about the 2016 Ford Fusion and other Ford vehicles by visiting us today at Five Star Ford of Plano. You can also view our new online inventory for photos, prices, features and more.