Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Ford to Debut Traffic Jam Assist, Fully Autonomous Car in Four Years


Fusion Hybrid Research Vehicle at Mcity

More automated driving features will come to new Ford and Lincoln models as the automaker triples its investment in developing new driver assist features, CEO Mark Fields said Monday.

Without delving into any specifics, Fields said at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that the company was finalizing a traffic jam assist and a “fully active” auto-parking system that can shift, brake, and steer into a spot. The traffic jam assist is an auto pilot that combines the adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist for a few seconds of no-hands driving. Currently, no Ford or Lincoln offers these kind of capabilities. Fields offered no timeline on when he would unveil them.

On the fully autonomous front, Ford claims it has the largest fleet of automaker-owned test cars, with 30 Fusion Hybrid sedans whirring around Michigan, Arizona, and California (up from 10 last year). Ford says it expects to offer production cars with fully-autonomous features within four years. It would roll them out first in “climates that support optimal sensor performance and in areas that have been mapped in high resolution 3D.” In other words, California.

Unless Ford drastically improves upon the accuracy of current-gen semi-autonomous systems, there’s nothing groundbreaking in Ford’s announcements. You can already get the equivalent of traffic jam assist on a base Honda Accord LX. General Motors will offer Super Cruise on Cadillac models in 2017. Nissan has pledged it would offer similar features on lower-priced cars by 2018, along with the ability to automatically swerve from obstacles and change lanes. Tesla has just introduced the ability to park remotely while standing outside the car. Ford doesn’t even offer auto-braking on any of its U.S. cars—it had promised the feature by 2015—although it does in Europe. Ford is playing catch-up here.

from Car and Driver Blog http://blog.caranddriver.com/ford-to-debut-traffic-jam-assist-fully-autonomous-car-in-four-years/

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