A Step Closer to Automating the Reality of Our Roads

There is plenty that human beings can do well, but at the same time, there isn’t much we do better than growing on a consistent basis. This tendency to improve, no matter the situation, has empowered us to hit upon some huge milestones, with technology emerging as quite a major member of the stated group. The reason why we hold technology in such a high regard is, by and large, centered upon its skill-set, which realized all the possibilities for us that we couldn’t have imagined otherwise. Nevertheless, if we look beyond the surface for a second, it will become clear how the whole runner was also inspired from the way we applied those skills across a real world environment. The latter component, in fact, did a lot to give the creation a spectrum-wide presence and start what was a full-blown tech revolution. Of course, this revolution then went on to scale up the human experience through various unique avenues, but even after achieving a feat so notable, technology will somehow continue to bring out the right goods. The same has grown more and more evident in recent times, and assuming Ford’s latest move shakes out just like we envision, it will only put that trend on a higher pedestal moving forward.

Ford has officially confirmed the creation of a new subsidiary called Latitude AI, which will focus on developing a hands-free, eye-off, unsupervised driving system. According to certain reports, the division will be headquartered in Pittsburgh, but there are plans to set up dedicated engineering hubs across Dearborn, Michigan, and Palo Alto, California as well. Apart from that, the company is also keen on opening a highway-speed test track facility in Greenville, South Carolina. Talk about Latitude AI’s granular-level action plan, the division is expected to enhance and leverage products such as Ford’s BlueCruise advanced driver-assist system. In case you are not aware, BlueCruise is a Level 2 system, which makes it possible for the vehicle to take control of functions like acceleration and braking, as well as lane centering, and automatic lane changing. Now, while the capabilities are surely significant, the technology still demands the driver to keep their eyes on the road at all times and be ready to seize charge at a moment’s notice. Latitude AI, like you can guess, will actively work to eliminate that limitation.

Ford’s renewed focus on Level 2 system appears consistent with what the company said after it pulled Argo AI’s funding last year and caused the latter’s untimely death. To give you a quick recap, once Argo AI was formally deemed as closed, Ford had pledged to shift its focus from Level 4 driverless technology to Level 2 and Level 3 driver-assist products. When quizzed regarding the rationale behind this decision, Jim Farley, CEO of Ford, said:

“We’re optimistic about a future for L4 ADAS, but profitable, fully autonomous vehicles at scale are a long way off and we won’t necessarily have to create that technology ourselves,”

These doubts regarding Level 4 system’s financial viability are further supported by how, despite so many companies like Cruise, Waymo, Motional, and others employing the technology, there are only a few who actually seem to be earning any money from it. Mind you, though, Ford isn’t the only company working to champion the driver-assist technology, as the likes of Mercedes Benz, Volvo, General Motors, and others, have also made some big efforts in their pursuit to conceive unsupervised highway driving features. Hence, with so many big players involved, it will be interesting to see where the automotive industry might go from this point onwards.

Copyrights © 2024. All Right Reserved. Engineers Outlook.