Ford set to triple autonomous fleet

Ford is tripling its fleet of fully autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid test vehicles and will use a new-generation sensor technology as the company further accelerates its autonomous vehicle development plans.

This year, Ford will add 20 Fusion Hybrid autonomous vehicles to the company’s autonomous fleet, bringing the total number to 30 vehicles being tested on roads in California, Arizona and Michigan. The move makes it the largest autonomous fleet in the automotive industry.

‘Using the most advanced technology and expanding our test fleet are clear signs of our commitment to make autonomous vehicles available for millions of people,’ said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, global product development, and chief technical officer. ‘With more autonomous vehicles on the road, we are accelerating the development of software algorithms that serve to make our vehicles even smarter.’

Building on more than a decade of Ford autonomous vehicle research, this expansion is a key element of Ford Smart Mobility – the plan to take Ford to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. The newest vehicles represent Ford’s third-generation autonomous vehicle development platform, and are based on Ford Fusion Hybrids, similar to the second-generation platform.

Ford recently announced that its fully autonomous cars will take to the streets of California this year. The company already tests autonomous vehicles at its proving grounds, as well as on public roads in Michigan.

Ford was the first automaker to test a fully autonomous vehicle at Mcity – a 32-acre, full-scale simulation of a real-world urban environment at the University of Michigan.