The Consumer Electronics Show and North American International Auto Show held this week will see this debut of the next-gen autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid.
The new autonomous Fusion is built on Ford’s previous autonomous platform but features a few upgrades that improve sensing and processing. New computer hardware allows for faster processing speeds, and sensors have been moved and revamped to see around the vehicle more easily.
The Fusion’s new LiDAR sensors were redesigned to have a more targeted field of vision that allows for just two sensors instead of four while taking in the same amount of data. The virtual driver system has also evolved for the new generation.
According to Ford, the autonomous Fusion’s processor will generate a terabyte of data in a single hour, a massive amount that is “more than the average person would use in mobile phone data in 45 years.” The Ford-developed software system then processes the data generated and uses it to tell the car what to do.
Ford’s ultimate goals are to develop a self-driving vehicle that doesn’t require a driver to operate and to make an autonomous vehicle available for sale by 2021. Last August Ford said that unlike most automakers, who believe the auto industry will shift gradually toward autonomous vehicles, Ford believes the entire industry must make the switch in one go.