Ford announced this week that it is partnering up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University to spur new research on self-driving cars, otherwise known as automated driving. Ford says the research is key to its “Blueprint for Mobility,” which is a vision of what the automobile industry will look like in 2025.
With MIT, Ford will work on building onto its existing automated Fusion Hybrid research vehicle. MIT will work with the automaker on new technology that will allow vehicles to avoid objects by predicting where a pedestrian, or another car, might move next. In other words, MIT will work to make sure the car won’t run into things. Stanford researchers, meanwhile, will work on making the car’s own awareness smarter. Ford says, today, a driver can turn over his or her shoulder and see something coming in a blindspot. The car will need to learn that kind of capability, to see when it’s clear to switch lanes, the company explained.
“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,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and Vice President, Ford research and innovation. “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.”
A video of the Ford Fusion Hybrid research vehicle is embedded below.