Setting the tone for what consumers can expect from the 2017 CES, Ford gave the world a peek inside the lab hard at work developing its Level 4 highly autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid test vehicle.
The preview showed the hybrid with smaller mechanical LiDAR pucks mounted on the side-mirrors for a 360-degree view of the world around around the vehicle. Three cameras mounted on roof racks that work in concert with the sensor suite to identify objects and read traffic lights. A computer in the truck of the autonomous hybrid acts like the "brain" of the system, which collects and interprets data from its sensors, then makes driving decisions based on that information.
Although the 2nd generation autonomous Ford Fusion hybrid shows a significant improvement over its predecessor, it's clear that Ford's goal of producing a highly-autonomous Level vehicle in 2021 is still very much a work in progress. The preview is a reminder that the Detroit car company is doing its homework and intends to stay in the race for self-driving vehicles, and that it won't be left behind by Silicon Valley.