Ford to begin testing driverless
cars on California streets
By Shawn Selby, PropertyCasualty360.com
Ford Motor Co. has joined the growing list of car companies fielding autonomous vehicles in California, according to the
Los Angeles Times.
The Detroit automaker has received a
permit to begin operating a driverless car
on public streets as part of California’s
autonomous vehicle testing program.
Ford executives say a Ford Fusion hybrid is already being tested in a closed-course setting in the Palo Alto area. Now
a small fleet of 2016 Fusions will begin
driving around Silicon Valley and San
The Fusions, when they hit the roads,
will each be occupied by one operator,
who will monitor the driving controls,
and one systems expert, who will monitor
the car’s sensors, James McBride, founder
of Ford’s autonomous vehicle program,
told the Los Angeles newspaper.
Ford said it hopes to eventually
bring forth a “Level 4” autonomous car,
McBride said — one that relies on no
driver input, even in emergencies.
“We’ve always taken the approach that
we want the car to be able to handle any
scenario a human would, and not sud-
denly throw the driving back into the lap
of the driver” when the going gets rough,
Car companies that have already re-
ceived California permits include Volk-
swagen, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla Motors,
Nissan and Honda, the Los Angeles Times
reported. The tech giant Google has used
its permit to operate a bubble-shaped au-
tonomous car around the Bay Area.
Ford said the new cars will be on Silicon
Valley roads sometime in early 2016.
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