Ford has released a video of its driverless car taking to the streets of Michigan during heavy snow.
Some experts have feared that the technology would work well in good weather such as the Google test site in Mountain View, California, but would suffer in extreme conditions.
However the video shows the technology works even when the road has severe snow.
Ford says its autonomous vehicle tests in snow-covered environments are not only a groundbreaking achievement, but the “latest example of the company’s commitment to bringing fully autonomous vehicles to millions of customers worldwide”.
On the video, Ford’s Global Manager of Driver Assistance Research, Greg Stevens, talks about how they’re used to quick changes in weather conditions in Michigan and that humans know how to deal with it, so the autonomous vehicles need to as well. “We have the sensing all around the vehicle which is constantly vigilant,” he says, “and we feed that to really powerful computers with algorithms to do a lot of what-if planning.” He explains that this allows the vehicle to act like a highly trained driver would.
Ford’s winter weather testing takes place in Michigan, including at Mcity – a 32-acre, full-scale simulated real-world urban environment at the University of Michigan.
Picture – from Ford’s Youtube video.