Ford Fusion autonomous vehicles use LiDAR sensor to see in the dark

Ford has announced that its new LiDAR sensor technology can ‘see in the dark’.

Ford 'Nightonomy'

Ford has revealed its LiDAR sensor technology, which is being used on its Fusion autonomous test vehicles to ‘see in the dark’.

Driving in pitch black at Ford’s Arizona Proving Ground in the US, marks the car maker’s next steps to delivering fully autonomous vehicles to customers.

The technology demonstrates that even without cameras, which rely on light, Ford’s LiDAR system – working with the car’s virtual driver software – can steer on winding roads, in the dark.

While it’s ideal to have all three modes of sensors – radar, cameras and LiDAR – the latter can function independently on roads without street-lighting.

To navigate in the dark, Ford self-driving cars use high-resolution 3D maps – complete with information about the road, road markings, geography, topography and landmarks like signs, buildings and trees. The vehicle uses LiDAR pulses to pinpoint itself on the map in real time.

Ford plans to triple its autonomous vehicle test fleet this tear, testing on roads in California, Arizona and Michigan, in America.

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