In December 2015, as part of its Smart Mobility Plan, Ford announced that a suite of its fully autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid vehicles were taking to California streets. The auto maker has now revealed it is tripling its fleet of these vehicles being tested – making it the largest in the automotive industry – and will use a new-generation sensor technology.
This year, Ford will add 20 Fusion Hybrid autonomous vehicles to the auto maker’s autonomous fleet, meaning it will have a total number of 30 vehicles being tested on roads in the states of California, Arizona and Michigan in the USA.
Also part of its Smart Mobility plan, Ford and DJI have created the DJI Developer Challenge. Entrants to this competition are tasked with creating software that would allow an F-150 and a drone to communicate in real time. These drone-to-vehicle communications must be developed using Ford SYNC AppLink or OpenXC. The end goal is a surveying system for the United Nations Development Program to inspect emergency zones inaccessible to even the most versatile vehicles.
The technology could allow the United Nation’s first responders to earthquakes, or tsunamis, to quickly deploy drones that are able to survey and map the hardest-hit areas – all from the cab of an F-150.
The challenge winner receives £70,000. Interested applicants should click here.
January 6, 2016