Ford Moving to Autonomous Cars by Developing New Technologies - Ford Inside News Community
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post #1 of 70 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Ford Moving to Autonomous Cars by Developing New Technologies

Active Park Assist to Add Perpendicular Parking
FordInsideNews.com
June 26, 2012
By: Austin Rutherford


Coming right out of iRobot, many believe that autonomous - or driverless - cars are the future of the automobile industry. Many states are considering or have already passed laws dealing with this future feature with technology pioneers like Google already extensively testing it. With many other automakers exploring autonomous cars, Ford is jumping into the ring further by announcing it will develop two new technologies.

The first of these is Traffic Jam Assist. This is a mid-term solution that will take the driver out of the situation when the vehicle hits heavy traffic. Using radar and cameras, the system will keep the vehicle a certain distance from other vehicles on any side. This will allow for a reduction in stress for the driver, improve traffic flow, and reduce gas consumption. Travel times may also be reduced by up to 37.5-% in the process.

The technology will be able to be overridden by the driver.

The second technology that Ford will offer in the near term is an expansion upon its successful Active Park Assist system. In addition to the current parallel parking assisting, the technology will also allow for conventional perpendicular parking. This system uses ultrasound to find a complying space to park and then uses the electric-power assisted steering to park the vehicle. All the driver needs to do is to hit the button on the dash and put the vehicle is drive or reverse when the system asks.

[video=youtube;cTYvkqZ1kfY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTYvkqZ1kfY&feature=player_embedded[/video]

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Ford Developing New Technologies to Help Ease Traffic, Parking Stress and Address Future Mobility Challenges

• Ford is developing Traffic Jam Assist, an intelligent driving feature that employs technology from the already-available active park assist, adaptive cruise control, Lane-Keeping Aid and the PowerShift transmission to enable a vehicle to automatically keep pace with other vehicles

• Ford vehicles will evolve the current active park assist system – a Ford technology that enables parallel parking without touching the steering wheel – to offer hands-free perpendicular parking as well

• Early prototypes of these technologies are designed to help reduce driver stress and traffic gridlock


DEARBORN, Mich., June 26, 2012 – Ford Motor Company is researching and developing intelligent, next-generation driving technologies designed to help address traffic jams and other future mobility challenges that come with rapid urbanization and population growth around the world.

Ford’s early prototypes of two such technologies – Traffic Jam Assist and an advanced version of active park assist, evolved to offer hands-free perpendicular parking – are designed to interact with a vehicle’s surroundings, reduce driver stress and help reduce traffic gridlock.

“Developing these technologies is part of the first step in a journey toward a more connected future,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford chief technical officer and vice president, Research and Innovation. “It’s an undertaking we believe will save time, conserve resources, lower emissions, improve safety and help reduce driver stress.”

Traffic Jam Assist
Traffic Jam Assist is an intelligent driving technology that Ford is developing for the mid-term. It uses radar and camera technology to help a vehicle keep pace with other vehicles in traffic and provide automated steering control to stay in the current lane, reducing driver stress and potentially improving vehicle flow.

“Drivers spend more than 30 percent of their time in heavy traffic,” said Joseph Urhahne, engineer with Ford Research and Innovation. “Traffic Jam Assist could help make traveling through congestion a more relaxing experience and, by keeping pace with the flow of traffic, potentially help relieve road congestion.”

Individual simulation studies have found that where 25 percent of vehicles on a stretch of road are equipped to automatically follow the traffic ahead, journey times can be reduced by 37.5 percent and delays reduced by 20 percent – saving millions of gallons of fuel each year.

Traffic Jam Assist has the potential to follow the traffic ahead while maintaining lane position in environments where there are no pedestrians, cyclists or animals, and where lanes are clearly marked.

Many of the sensing technologies required to deliver Traffic Jam Assist already are available on current Ford models including Focus, Escape and Fusion.

The developing technology would be able to respond to changing traffic situations ahead and communicate any developments to the driver. Traffic Jam Assist would also incorporate features to help ensure the driver remains alert and in contact with the vehicle controls, even when the system is active. It could also be overridden at any time.

Perpendicular parking
In the near term, Ford plans to further develop its active park assist technology, a popular feature that allows drivers to parallel park without touching the wheel. Ford is adding perpendicular parking to the parallel parking maneuvers already possible.

The enhanced system would harness the technologies introduced with active park assist. It uses ultrasonic sensors to identify suitable parking spaces, for width rather than length, and then steers the vehicle into them using electric power-assisted steering (EPAS).

Active park assist is activated by pressing a center console button. When a suitable space is detected, the system will advise the driver to stop with an audible and visual warning. The driver will then be told to put the vehicle into reverse gear and operate brakes and clutch, if needed, while the car controls the steering wheel.

Perpendicular parking functionality would use the vehicle’s rear parking distance control sensors to monitor for obstructions not seen by the driver when backing into the space.

Where there is insufficient space to complete the maneuver in one attempt, the system might ask the driver to shift the vehicle into forward and reverse as necessary. Once the vehicle is perfectly parked, the driver gets a finish signal.




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post #2 of 70 (permalink) Old 12-20-2013, 03:28 PM
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Michigan approves autonomous vehicle testing

Michigan approves autonomous vehicle testing

Michigan has become the fourth state -- joining California, Florida and Nevada - to OK autonomous vehicle testing on public roads. The measure was approved by Michigan's state legislature and is now awaiting the signature of Governor Rick Snyder.

According to the proposed regulations, vehicle manufacturers will be able to test self-driving vehicles on Michigan's public roads, but a human will need to be at the wheel at all times in the event of an emergency. Michigan's rules will also allow autonomous vehicle "upfitters" like Google to test on the state's roadways, according to The Detroit News.

Autonomous vehicles will be marked by an "M" on their license plate.


Read more: http://www.leftlanenews.com/michigan...#ixzz2o2r86eFN
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post #3 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-11-2014, 09:09 PM
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the role of automakers in the future - by Bill Ford

Bill Ford op-ed argues we can't just build and sell more of the same cars - Autoblog
By Brandon Turkus
Posted Jul 10th 2014

...Few people are as able to explain the industry's many upcoming changes and challenges as clearly as William Clay Ford, Jr., better known as Bill Ford. The 57-year-old currently sits as the executive chairman of the company his great-grandfather, Henry Ford, founded over 110 years ago.

In an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Ford explains that the role of automakers is, necessarily, going to change to suit the needs of the future world. That means changing the view of not just the automobile, but the automaker. As Ford explains it, automakers will "move from being just car and truck manufacturers to become personal-mobility companies."...

...In all, Ford's op-ed provides a fascinating look at what one of the industry's biggest names thinks of the automobile's future, with a particular focus on how it will affect you and I as the world continues to change, evolve and grow. The entire piece is available at The Wall Street Journal's site, and is a highly recommended read.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Bill Ford on the Future of Transportation: We Can't Simply Sell More Cars - WSJ
Ford's Chairman Says We Must Rethink How We Make Vehicles—and How We Use Them

By Bill Ford

July 7, 2014

During the past decade, the automotive industry emerged from one of the most challenging periods we have ever encountered, and has now entered one of the most exciting and promising times in our history. Yet, even more important is our focus on the future, which will be defined by an important trend: the automobile as part of a larger ecosystem.

This requires a change in our view of the car as an individual object to seeing it as part of our broader transportation network. It also requires a fundamental change in how we think about transportation. Customers today have extremely diverse priorities, and we must embrace these differences as we design and sell automobiles.

The facts that underpin this trend are compelling. With a growing global population and greater prosperity, the number of vehicles on the road could exceed two billion by midcentury. Combine this with a continuing population shift toward cities, with a projected 54% of the global population in cities by 2050, and it becomes clear that our current transportation model is not sustainable. Our infrastructure cannot support such a large volume of vehicles without creating massive congestion that would have serious consequences for our environment, health, economic progress and quality of life.

Challenge—and Opportunity


The good news is that this scenario is not inevitable, and some experts say this challenge represents a $130 billion business opportunity for the automotive market. Some solutions already are under way to develop more space-efficient vehicles with clean engines that run on gas or alternative energy sources. Yet other answers will require a fundamental rethinking of what the business of being an auto manufacturer looks like. No matter how clean and efficient vehicles are, we simply cannot depend on selling more of them as they function today. Cars will need to be smarter and more integrated into the overall transportation system.

Forward-looking companies will redefine themselves and move from being just car and truck manufacturers to become personal-mobility companies. We will be thinking more intelligently about how the vehicles we build interact with one another and with a city's infrastructure, which includes trains, pedestrian walkways, buses, bikes and everything else that helps us move through urban centers.

Rapidly changing preferences among car owners, including an ever-increasing emphasis on connectivity, will redefine the types of vehicles we bring to market, the features we focus on and how vehicles are marketed and used...

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post #4 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-11-2014, 09:11 PM
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Re: the role of automakers in the future - by Bill Ford

continued...

New Ownership Models

The rise of companies such as Lyft, Uber and Zipcar underlines individual ownership as not always being the most cost-effective way to obtain access to a vehicle, especially for urban customers. Individual ownership also may not be the primary model of vehicle ownership in the future. Just how this affects the current sales model is yet to be seen.

Cars of the future will be mobile communications platforms that talk to each other and the world around them to make driving safer and more efficient. They will be integrated into the transportation ecosystem in ways that optimize the entire system, with software that allows owners to increasingly customize features and functions. We already are in the early stages of this transformation, with wireless communication, infotainment systems and limited functions for automated driving and parking.

Continuing to meet consumer demand for greater efficiency also will require more than just changes to engines and energy sources. New materials and manufacturing processes will reshape auto manufacturers and the suppliers we have worked with for decades.

Aluminum and high-strength steel will evolve as the materials that serve as the backbone of the industry. Carbon fiber will move from the realm of race cars and million-dollar exotics into small cars and crossovers. This will require rethinking the life-cycle supply chain.

Redefining Driving

We also will need to rethink what defines the act of driving. Autonomous driving, or cars that navigate themselves, will be possible, and in certain situations, common practice. We already are seeing some of this make its way into vehicles to provide safer and easier driving. As these technologies develop, we expect they significantly will extend the useful driving life of individuals and offer new opportunities for the physically challenged. Some entrepreneurs are even pushing current boundaries further by exploring the feasibility of flying cars. While these would require significant regulatory development to become a viable option, they do provide a glimpse of what our future of mobility may look like.

All of this serves as the backdrop to how we think about Ford Motor Co. today. Henry Ford redefined mobility for average people, and we have the opportunity to do the same now. The next 20 years will see a radical transformation of our industry, and will present many new ways of ensuring that my great-grandfather's dream of opening the highways for all mankind will remain alive and well in the 21st century and beyond.

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post #5 of 70 (permalink) Old 05-27-2015, 10:09 AM
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Ford CEO Mark Fields Wants to Make a Self-Driving Car for the Masses

Ford CEO Mark Fields Wants to Make a Self-Driving Car for the Masses
Time | May 26, 2015


- Ford President and CEO Mark Fields speaks at Ford's manufacturing facility and engineering plant in Sanand, India on March 26, 2015.

- Ajit Solanki—AP Ford President and CEO Mark Fields speaks at Ford's manufacturing facility and engineering plant in Sanand, India on March 26, 2015.

- The company, "where it makes sense," will cooperate with Google and others on self-driving cars

Ford CEO Mark Fields is trying to navigate his company through an era of upheaval in the auto industry. Cars are no longer merely steel on wheels. They’re mobile computers that can respond to voice commands, serve as a hub for digital entertainment and drive themselves.

Fortune spoke with Fields recently at Ford’s Silicon Valley lab, an office that opened earlier this year as a beachhead for innovation. He’s hoping that having workers on the ground in the heart of the tech industry’s capital will help the company identify and adopt new technology more quickly. Ford is facing a stiff challenge to keep up from the usual auto making suspects plus newcomers like Google and Tesla. Even Uber, the ride hailing app, is a threat if people stop buying cars and use its service instead to be driven where they need to go.

The following is a Q&A with Fields that has been edited for length and clarity:

Q: How important are self-driving cars to Ford?

They’re important. But it’s more important to think about self-driving cars more holistically. We call this Ford Smart Mobility. It’s not only about autonomous vehicles, it’s about the connected car, it’s about mobility and ride sharing. It’s around the enabling technologies for the retail experience. All these things are connected. You can’t have an autonomous vehicle unless you have a connected car, and visa versa. You can’t have ride sharing without having the connection. They’re all intertwined.

Q: Is it important to be first? Ford isn’t really seen as being in the lead on self-driving cars.

It’s not the No. 1 thing that drives us. I think the No. 1 thing that drives us, and it gets back to our DNA as a company going back to our founder, Henry Ford, is around innovating to make things accessible to everyone — not just the rich. Even now, semi-autonomous features are the building blocks for full autonomy. When you look the breadth of semi-autonomous features that we have in our vehicles, we’re in a leading position there. With everything from our Fiesta all the way up to our Lincolns — customers can get a lot of these features. So as we go forward, we’re going to make sure that we continue to build on that legacy and push ourselves to make sure it’s accessible and affordable – not necessarily being the first.

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post #6 of 70 (permalink) Old 05-27-2015, 11:15 AM
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Re: Ford CEO Mark Fields Wants to Make a Self-Driving Car for the Masses

Ford has allot of experience pioneering autonomous car tech that actually works and remains accessible in every car they build. They probably could be doing more in other areas like smarter adaptive cruise and real collision mitigation, but I'm sure everything they are doing here is well considered and researched.
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post #7 of 70 (permalink) Old 05-27-2015, 12:31 PM
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Re: Ford CEO Mark Fields Wants to Make a Self-Driving Car for the Masses

Everybody is going their own way on self driving cars which IMO is going to make for a nightmare. If we are to go this direction it makes the most sense to standardize the technology, combining the efforts to ensure that all self-driving vehicles will react the same way in all situations and get more eyes on the code to ensure there are no deadly bugs or security holes.

Even if you standardize the manner in which self driving cars are to react to different situations having multiple unrelated implementations increases the chances of error 100% for each individual code base. Other than liability lawyers who thinks this is a good idea?
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post #8 of 70 (permalink) Old 05-27-2015, 01:51 PM
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Re: Ford CEO Mark Fields Wants to Make a Self-Driving Car for the Masses

Self Driving tech is very infrastructure dependent as well which is where tech companies have a unique interest and advantage, along with battery and in-car tech/connectivity.
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post #9 of 70 (permalink) Old 05-27-2015, 02:47 PM
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Re: Ford CEO Mark Fields Wants to Make a Self-Driving Car for the Masses

where are the G...D.... Luddites when you NEED them??

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post #10 of 70 (permalink) Old 05-27-2015, 05:11 PM
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Re: Ford CEO Mark Fields Wants to Make a Self-Driving Car for the Masses

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Originally Posted by 2b2 View Post
where are the G...D.... Luddites when you NEED them??
They don't buy new cars.
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