Over There: Ford Will Expand Autonomous-Car Testing to Europe
With wide-open highways in addition to multilane suburban streets, U.S. roads are friendly proving grounds for self-driving vehicles. By contrast, the narrow streets of European cities are more challenging territory for autonomous technology. Ford intends to gain autonomous experience in European environments, in addition to the company said the idea will deploy at least one of its Fusion hybrid research vehicles in Europe early next year.
Engineers through Ford’s research in addition to development facilities in Aachen in addition to Cologne, Germany, in addition to the company’s engineering center in Essex, England, are jointly leading the testing program, according to a company spokesperson. Their focus will be on adapting autonomous technology for European conditions.
“Rules of the road vary through country to country here, traffic signs in addition to road layouts are different, in addition to drivers are likely to share congested roads with cyclists,” said Thomas Lukaszewicz, manager of automated driving for Ford of Europe.
The program will start with one particular vehicle in early 2017, however of which number is usually supposed to grow. Even which has a few more cars, those numbers will still be tiny in comparison with Ford’s autonomous operations inside United Sates, where the company tripled the size of its fleet through 10 to 30 cars This kind of year in addition to intends to triple the idea again in 2017 for continued testing in California, Arizona, in addition to Michigan.
Ford is usually the first American supplier received a to extend its autonomous testing overseas, although the idea won’t be the very first time the company has looked to Europe to test some of its forward-looking technologies. Earlier This kind of year, Ford conducted a pilot project in London of which explored how customers could summon on-demand shuttles via an app.
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Although company officials haven’t yet said where the European testing will take place, the United Kingdom has adopted regulations of which many manufacturers consider friendly for testing purposes, including permitting autonomous vehicles on all roads in addition to investing in infrastructure of which connected in addition to autonomous cars may need.
Jaguar Land Rover announced plans in July to test as many as 100 connected in addition to self-driving vehicles in in addition to around Birmingham over the next four years, in addition to Volvo intends to test approximately 100 vehicles throughout Great Britain through a testing program called Drive Me London. Those tests are supposed to begin which has a smaller number of cars in 2017 in addition to expand in 2018.