WATCH THIS: Autonomous Ford can drive itself in total darkness
Autonomous cars are dime a dozen. While only a few have made it onto public roads, it seems that every automotive company – or tech company in Apple and Google’s case – are working on a self-driving vehicle. However, it’s unlikely any of them can do what this Ford hybrid is capable of: driving in complete darkness.
Yes, that’s right, this Ford Fusion Hybrid can see in the dark, and doesn’t need headlights to navigate roads. No, it doesn’t use magic or sheer force of will to stay on the road, but instead makes use of 3D mapping data and laser sensors to keep itself in lane and on the road.
Ford has put together a cheesy video of the test showing off just how its Hybrid car can see in the dark.
Getting the Ford to drive without headlights at night isn’t as simple as you may expect. First Ford needs to use 3D mapping to know the road and its surroundings, including road markings, geography, topography and landmarks such as signs and buildings. Once the car has all this data, it can then use its Lidar system to position itself properly on the road and help corroborate the information from the 3D mapping data it has.
For now, Ford’s car can only be tested on closed courses or roads, as all cars require headlights to legally drive at night. However, it’s reassuring to know that, in the event of both car headlights dying on a dark desert road, your self-driving car could still get you home in one piece.