Ford’s Self Driving Car Navigates Night Test, Performs Beyond Limits of Human Drivers
Ford is currently working on a self driving car and to make its vehicle superior to human driving, Ford’s self driving car is being tested in different environments. This time, they tested their car in the night with headlights off and the results are very impressive indeed!
The manufacturer believes that the car will be much safer to drive at night than any human controlled car. More than half of the deaths caused by the accidents occur after dark.
Ford’s self driving car uses a effective light based radar called Lidar, which scans the road around it for what to expect and where to go. Engineers were on-board wearing night vision goggles to take control if car went off the track.
Lidar systems usually uses cameras on the outside of the self driving car which track road markings and surface patterns. However, these cameras are useless in the dark, so the car uses global positioning system of the Lidar to navigate.
Lidar is indicated by the spinning cylinders on the roof of the car which shoots millions of laser beams which scan its surrounding and creates a 3D map of them to decide which way to go. Also, a high resolution 3D Map is present in car`s brain which contains detailed information about the roads such as signs, buildings and signals.
Jim McBride from Ford said:
Thanks to lidar, the test cars aren’t reliant on the sun shining, nor cameras detecting painted white lines on the asphalt. Lidar allows autonomous cars to drive just as well in the dark as they do in the light of day.
The test took place on private roads without traffic and pedestrians. The company is to increase its autonomous car test fleet this year to 30 cars, with 4 more trials of driverless car to take place.