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Ford next-gen self-driving car has more procesing power, halves LiDAR sensors to two

Posted on Thursday, December 29 2016 @ 12:48:08 CET by


Not a lot of news worth posting today so here's another video showing the progress in the self-driving car market. Ford shared more details about its self-driving car effort and points out it has a goal to enable fully autonomous vehicles in 2021 for ride-sharing and ride-hailing services.

Next year, Ford expects to triple the number of self-driving vehicles it operates to a total of about 90 cars. Testing is currently taking place in Michigan, California and Arizona. Ford will showcase its latest self-driving car technology at CES 2017. With all the latest advances in machine learning, it's pretty interesting to see how old industries like automobiles are taking up main spots at technology exhibits!

In a new Medium post, Ford shares that thanks to technological advances its new vehicles now use just two LiDAR sensors rather than four, while still capturing just as much data. The new LiDAR sensors have a new location, they're no longer placed on top of the roof but left and right of the windshield.

Ford also reveals that their new platform has a lot more processing power and that standard gas-powered vehicles don't have enough electrical power for autonomous operation. Therefore, they add a second, independent power source. Ford does not reveal which new computer hardware it uses, perhaps the Drive PX 2 from NVIDIA? Ford says its self-driving cars generate about 1TB of data per hour.
Of course, additional functions require additional power?—?a lot of it. A standard gas-powered car doesn’t have enough electrical power for an autonomous vehicle, so we’ve had to tap into Fusion Hybrid’s high-voltage battery pack by adding a second, independent power converter to help create two sources of power to maintain robustness.




 



 

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