Ford's Autonomous Fusion Drives Around Artificial Michigan City All Alone (Video)

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
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It’s not quite “Vanilla Sky,” but Ford is testing its autonomous vehicle tech at the University of Michigan’s Mcity, a 32-acre fake city with weirdly placed fire hydrants and fake hipster bookstores, and no one around.

The automaker announced Friday that its Fusion Hybrid was managing the testing grounds’ lanes, turns, roads, intersections, lights, without one artificial bumper bent or curbed wheel — allegedly.

Ford’s announcement and video are thin on details but thick with meaning: Ford is still kicking in the robot-car game. Automakers such as General Motors, Tesla and Volvo have announced or rolled out semi-autonomous features such as Super Cruise, Auto-Pilot or Autopilot. (Wait, Volvo and Tesla call it the same thing?)

“Testing Ford’s autonomous vehicle fleet at Mcity provides another challenging, yet safe, urban environment to repeatedly check and hone these new technologies,” Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development said in statement. “This is an important step in making millions of people’s lives better and improving their mobility.”

In case you were thinking that the Big Blue Oval was behind on this technology stuff, there’s always this, from the statement:

Ford has been testing autonomous vehicles for more than 10 years and is now expanding testing on the diversity of roads and realistic neighborhoods of Mcity near the North Campus Research Complex to accelerate research of advanced sensing technologies.

They practically invented robot cars, you guys.

Aaron Cole
Aaron Cole

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  • Sector 5 Sector 5 on Nov 15, 2015

    Step in the right direction by Ford. I can see UPS FedEx etc adopting this technology for small-package residential delivery. The recepient get a call and the vehicle arrives outside their residence. They approach, possibly use a keyboard on the vehicle side and the package is dispensed. Residential delivery is not profitable after it passes one attempt. How often do you see free shipping or shipping included when internet shopping? It's cut down to the bone. And the added labor savings would be a big welcome.

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    • RideHeight RideHeight on Nov 15, 2015

      @Scoutdude "dropping them at the door" My front patio's a little narrow for that. Maybe an Asimo could ride in the back like a high tech trunk monkey and run the package up from the driveway.

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Nov 15, 2015

    Ups needs this technology. An autonomous delivery truck with a package catapult makes more sense than a drone. I don't know why but this subject makes me think of really stupid movies. The autopilot from Airplane is just obvious. The catapult from Monty Python's Holy Grail installed on a UPS truck. Then, for no apparent reason except for how the autopilot in Airplane was inflated, there's Billy Madison: Frank: Who would you rather bone, Meg Ryan or Jack Nicholson? Billy Madison: Jack Nicholson now, or 1974? Frank: '74. Billy Madison: Meg Ryan.

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    • Drzhivago138 Drzhivago138 on Nov 16, 2015

      @Mr. Orange De terk er jerbs!

  • RHD RHD on Nov 15, 2015

    So the guy in the picture sitting behind the wheel of the autonomous car is... a big nobody?

  • Volt 230 Volt 230 on Nov 16, 2015

    Like driving behind an old lady on Sunday morning on her way to church