Developed with the University of Michigan and State Farm, the autonomous Mondeo uses LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology to scan the road 2.5 million times per second.
In fact, the sensors are so effective, they can detect the difference between a paper bag and a small animal at nearly "a football field’s" distance.
The Mondeo forms part of Ford’s ‘Blueprint for Mobility’, with Ford preparing for what it believes will be a fully-autonomously driven world in 2025.
“The Ford [Mondeo] Hybrid automated vehicle represents a vital step toward our vision for the future of mobility,” Ford Executive Chairman, Bill Ford, said.
“We see a future of connected cars that communicate with each other and the world around them to make driving safer, ease traffic congestion and sustain the environment. By doing this, Ford is set to have an even greater impact in our next 100 years than we did in our first 100.”
Ford will use the car to further develop existing semi-autonomous technologies, such as park assist, radar-guided cruise control and operation via voice commands.
The Mondeo will also be used to test the non-technical facets of autonomous driving, including social and legislative issues.
Ford believes vehicle-to-vehicle communication will be the next step towards an autonomous future which may include ‘vehicle-platooning’; where vehicles traveling in the same direction ‘sync-up’ their movements to create a ‘denser driving pattern’.
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