Ford Surpasses Competitors, Test Drives Autonomous Car First In Snowy Conditions

January 15
2:00 AM 2016

Ford Motor Company, has announced conducting test drive of its autonomous cars in a snowy environment. Snow appears a potential challenge to the driverless cars since the sensors do not work well in wintery weather.

Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) sensors represent the world around a driverless car. Measuring intensity of the light reflected from rapidly firing LASER helps autonomous cars to sketch the views. The principle is similar to that involved in radar where radio wave measured instead of light.

But these sensors falter in snowy conditions, and the car's onboard cameras fail to interpret road markings obscured by snow. Ford's autonomous car program enables the LIDAR sensors to detect landmarks above the ground, such as buildings and road signs. Snow reflected LASER beams misguide the inbuilt computer in reading the road signs while sketching the views around, reports BBC while narrating the technology involved.

Ford has initiated to draw incredibly detailed 3D maps covering wide range of roads and signs thereto supported with information on topography. The maps are being created too by autonomous cars while driving through a given stretch of road in clear weather conditions and necessary data gets preserved, describes Digital Trends.

The Ford driverless cars can use the 3D maps to figure out their exact locations at any given moment. The LIDAR scanners calculate distance from a nearby sign and match with the stored data to analyze the positions, according to a report published in Wired.

Ford has tested feasibility of the 3D maps in real snow last month at MCity, a model city built by the University of Michigan. The idea of self- locating using deduction method is not a unique one. But Ford is definitely the first one surpassing all competitors to demonstrate navigation on snow covered roads using its self developed 3D map.

Despite of all these achieved successes, least problem residues still. Snow or rainfall still may interfere with LIDAR and cameras. Moreover, it is mandatory to learn about the temporary obstacles for safe driving, in addition to interpret the exact locations. Snow or rainfall changes landscape drastically and confuses the inbuilt computer while calculating the locations.

Ford Motor Company, the American multinational automaker with headquarters in Dearborn, Detroit, Michigan has announced test driving its autonomous cars in snowy environments. The test drive has been conducted in the streets of MCity, a fake city developed by the University of Michigan. Ford developed 3D maps seem to be effective in running the autonomous car over snow covered roads.

© 2023 VCPOST, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


Join the Conversation

Subscribe to VCpost newsletter

Sign up for our Deals of the Day newsletter.
We will not spam you!

Real Time Analytics