Ford, MIT And Stanford Collaborate In Automated Driving Research


Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) collaborated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University to advance its research project in automated driving and develop solutions to some of the technical challenges surrounding it.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) believes that working with academic institutions such as MIT and Stanford University will help advance its Blueprint for Mobility, which aims to integrate advanced technologies and autonomous functionality to its vehicles after 2025.

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In a statement, Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president of research and innovation at Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) said, “To deliver on our vision for the future of mobility, we need to work with many new partners across the public and private sectors, and we need to start today. Working with university partners like MIT and Stanford enables us to address some of the longer-term challenges surrounding automated driving while exploring more near-term solutions for delivering an even safer and more efficient driving experience.”

Ford Fusion Hybrid research vehicle

The automaker’s research project is built upon its recently introduced Ford Fusion Hybrid research vehicle. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) will use its research vehicle to explore possible solutions for the longer-term societal, legislative, and technological issues that will be faced by automated driving in the future.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) said its research vehicle is unique because it is using the same technology currently present in Ford vehicles at dealer’s showrooms. The Ford Fusion Hybrid research vehicle is integrated with four LiDAR sensors to generate a real-time 3D map of the surrounding of the vehicle.

Focus of the research

According to the automaker, MIT’s research will focus on scenario planning to predict the actions of other vehicles and pedestrians. On the other hand, Stanford University will concentrate on discovering how vehicles might maneuver to enable its sensors to peek around obstructions.

According to the automaker, its research with MIT uses advanced algorithms to help the vehicle learn to predict the next direction of moving vehicles and pedestrians while the LiDAR sensors sense the objects around it.

The automaker emphasized that the scenario planning provides vehicles with a better sense of the risks around it, and enables safe planning of path to avoid pedestrians, vehicles, and other mover objects.

With Stanford University, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) wants to discover how the sensors could see around obstacles. The automaker explained that drivers normally maneuver within the lane to take a peek on what’s ahead when his view is blocked by an obstacle such as a big truck.

The automaker explained that the research aims to enable the sensors to “take a peek ahead” and make evasive maneuvers if necessary.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) said its research project aims to provide vehicles with common sense. It wants to bring the driver’s good intuition to its vehicles to predict what will happen next.