Lack of visibility is a major cause of accidents on the roads, at night or in foggy conditions. With the help of laser radar, one automaker believes its new invention could solve the problem once and for all, in autonomous cars. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) engineers are now proposing a new system that could see cars driving in the dark with headlights switched off.
Ford’s LiDAR Technology
LiDAR is the new technology that the automaker says has what it takes to take autonomous driving to another level. Having completed tests in Arizona, Ford says the new system can perform beyond the limits of human drivers.
The system uses three sensors. One for detecting road lines, the other for obstacles, and the third helps in keeping track of a car’s position. The LiDAR system also features cameras and a laser technology able to generate 2.8 million laser pulses.
Any collected data is used to create a 3D map of the surroundings that a car uses for navigation. Full sensor capabilities regardless of external conditions is what the new system is attempting to achieve. Ford says the technology can steer a car around winding roads without causing any incidents.
Need For More Tests
The hybrid model bills itself as an alternative way of driving in the dark with headlights turned off. Safety drivers carrying out tests while in the car at night wore military grade night vision to monitor the car’s behavior.
Such tests will have a huge say on tech companies and automakers attaining much-needed approval from regulators. The fact that LiDAR technology guarantees self-driving in the dark and light of day is a big achievement for Ford.
Ford has also been carrying out tests for its Fusion in the snow as it looks to ascertain the ability of the technology to perform on all conditions. The future of self-driving cars as it stands looks brighter as tech companies continue to invest big on technologies they believe will reduce human error on the roads.