We’re just a couple days away from the biggest technology show of the year, and almost every major auto manufacturer has something new to show off at the event. Electric and self-driving cars are especially hot this year, and its likely everyone from BMW to Faraday Future will have a new model or concept to show off. This is definitely the case for Ford, who has just announced that they will be showing off a new autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid at the event.
The new vehicle is said to have a much more powerful computer than previous iterations, and should have much improved sensors to make sure the self-driving tech works flawlessly. These sensors are much sleeker than previous iterations the company has shown off, and look very much like they are just part of the car’s main construction. These low-profile LIDAR units come from Velodyne, a company which Ford recently invested $150 million in.
The processing is done by a large computer in the trunk of the car, which can apparently process a terabyte of data in an hour. This data comes from object recognition, computer vision, navigation, and everything else an autonomous car needs to get you to a destination smoothly.
Ford says the vehicle is “near production ready”, though it has not said at what scale it plans to release the car. The new Fusion Hybrid is just one step towards the company’s vision of selling SAE level 4-capable vehicles at a high volume by 2021, which is now only 4 years away.
We’re excited to see just what the vehicle can do when we visit them at CES this year, so stay tuned for coverage very soon.