Ford to Debut New Version of Ford Fusion Hybrid – Investopedia

Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2016

Car maker Ford Motor Company (F) will unveil the latest version of its self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrid sedan at the Consumer and Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. The new version features a reduced sensor count, a forward-facing camera, and short and long sensors to detect objects in its path. It also has a “brain” located in the trunk. “There, the equivalent of several high-end computers generate 1 terabyte of data an hour—more than the average person would use in mobile-phone data in 45 years,” wrote Chris Brewer, chief engineer at Ford, in a blog post. (For more, see also: BlackBerry, Ford Eye Self-Driving Car Future.)

According to the tech publication The Verge, a reduction in the number of Light Detection and Radar Sensors (LiDAR sensors), which detect objects by illuminating them with lasers, has achieved a streamlined look for the vehicle. But it has not affected performance. “New LiDAR sensors have a sleeker design and more targeted field of vision, which enables the car to now use just two sensors rather than four, while still getting just as much data,” wrote Brewer. The Verge also reported that the car maker will triple its fleet of driverless Fusion sedans to 90 cars in the coming year and expand its testing for such cars to Europe. They are currently being tested in Arizona and Michigan in the United States. The company has already promised to introduce fully autonomous vehicles into the market by 2021.

Ford’s self-driving car announcement builds on the momentum generated in the self-driving car industry following Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s (FCAU) partnership with Alphabet Inc. subsidiary Google (GOOG) to outfit its Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans with self-driving car technology. The two companies are also expected to show off one such vehicle at CES.

Meanwhile, General Motors Company (GM) is testing its self-driving Chevrolet Bolts on public roads in San Francisco and Scottsdale, Arizona. It also purchased Cruise Automation—a self-driving car technology company earlier this year to accelerate its moves in the industry. Per an October Fortune article, Ford and General Motors have the same number of self-driving cars—30—in their fleet. With 34 cars in its fleet and 24 modified Lexus RX450h SUVs, Google is the leader in self-driving car fleets. (For more, see also: GM and Lyft Expand Express Driver Rental.)


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