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Watch Ford’s driverless car try to drive in the snow

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ford snow
Not bad, Ford...

Britain might stop in its tracks when snow starts falling, but Ford’s driverless cars won’t.

Ford has released a video that shows its driverless car successfully navigating in the snow.

Driving under heavy snowfall can be treacherous at the best of times, so it’s amazing to see an autonomous vehicle manage the feat.

Check out the video below:

“Driving in snow can be a slippery challenge, with the potential for one blizzardy gust to white-out your field of view,” says Ford.

“So if self-driving cars are to become a reality – and they almost certainly will – they must be able to navigate snow-covered roads.”

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Ford’s autonomous vehicles use a technology called Lidar, which is a surveying system that measures distance by illuminating targets with laser light.

It’s the same technology that’s used by the HTC Vive VR headset to perform positional tracking in a room.

One of the consequences of Lidar on a driverless vehicle is that a huge amount of data is generated.

Ford says that autonomous cars collect and process more data in a single hour than the average person uses in smartphone data over ten years.

Earlier this year, Ford told TrustedReviews it hoped to have consumer-ready driverless cars on the roads by 2020.

Are you sold on the idea of driverless cars? Let us know in the comments.

toboev

March 9, 2016, 5:44 pm

"... the potential for one blizzardy gust to white-out your field of view,” says Ford.

“So if self-driving cars are to become a reality – and they almost
certainly will – they must be able to navigate snow-covered roads.”

They seem to be conflating two separate problems; traction on snow, and vision in a blizzard.

Traction on snow is solved by snow tyres. Seeing through a blizzard, now that would be clever.

Unfortunately, reading the quotations they seem to raise the challenge of seeing through a blizzard, but then substitute the simpler problem of snow traction as a solution.

Biggles

March 10, 2016, 8:28 am

Yes, I kind of expected to see the Ford driving successfully through at least six-inch deep snow, while cars driven by mere mortals slithered to a halt. The demonstration video just showed a car driving through a light snow shower over a thin covering on the roads - something my granny wouldn't have found challenging.

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