Ford is testing new third-generation self-driving cars in Detroit

Ford is expanding road testing of its third generation self-driving Fusion Hybrid to Detroit. The vehicles have already been deployed in Pittsburgh, Palo Alto, Miami, Washington DC and Ford & # 39; s home field of Dearborn, Michigan; The Verge & # 39; s Andrew Hawkins went for a drive in a previous gene model last year and found it quite skilled at handling different traffic scenarios.

"Every city is a unique opportunity to make our self-driving system smarter because of the exposure to different road infrastructure design, driving behavior and even the placement of traffic lights," Peter Rander wrote, president of Argo AI, the startup that has supported Ford to lead the development of its self-driving cars. "The collective knowledge we gain by working in five different locations is a big part of why we are making great progress."

Rander points to a number of improvements with the new third-generation car, including "a significantly improved sensor range" with higher resolution cameras, an updated computer system that is more thermal and sound efficient, and additional safety measures such as "redundant braking and steering." "systems that maintain the movement of the vehicle when one of the units stops functioning. "(One of Ford & # 39; s self-driving vehicles was involved in an accident early last year.)

Detroit offers Ford "almost all types of roads that you can expect" according to Rander, such as wide roads with unmarked lanes and narrower residential streets with overhanging trees. Corktown is where Ford's self-driving efforts are based and as a result, Rander notes that technical aids are close by when needed.