Ford Motor Corp has staged a demonstration to show how LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology allows its Fusion Hybrid to drive in pitch darkness without the use of radar or cameras.
Ford’s self-driving cars are equipped with high-resolution 3D maps and then use LiDAR information pulses to find the car’s exact position on the map at any given time, around 2.8 million laser pulses per second are fired out. This means they can drive just as well in the dark as in the light.
Jim McBride, the technical leader of Ford’s autonomous vehicles said: “Thanks to LiDAR, the test cars aren’t reliant on the sun shining, nor cameras detecting painted white lines on the asphalt. In fact, LiDAR allows autonomous cars to drive just as well in the dark as the do in the light of day.”
Ford has been researching autonomous cars for over a decade and in 2016 is billed to have 30 self-driving Fusion Hybrid cars tested across the United States from California to Michigan.