Back in 2013, car manufacturer Ford announced that it will be launching a new concept of driverless vehicle, called Fusion. Ford performs road tests for Autonomous Vehicle after 10 years of testing and research.
In order to be fully committed to this kind of extensive testing, Ford, in association with MIT, has created a very unusual test track. An entire area has been converted into a gigantic proving ground. The car testing arena is called Mcity, or Mobile City and it is now part of the Mobility Transformation Center, located near the prestigious MIT University.
According to high ranking officials from Ford, this move was prompted by the ever increasing marketing competition in the area of autonomous vehicles. Even as we speak, Ford joins famous companies who decided to take on the new concept. Tech companies such as Google, Apple, and Tesla have already announced and successfully tested their car prototypes.
Naturally, Ford would want to keep up with its main competitors. In order to safely test out its new car concept, Ford has decided to recreate a whole city. The replica city has something eerie to it. Upon a closer look at the city, another image comes into mind. During the Cold War, both Russian and the United States have constructed replicas of enemy cities in order to prepare their soldiers for a possible land invasion.
Leaving the historical implication aside, down town Mcity seems to have everything it needs in order to test the car’s resilience. As described by its makers, it seems that the city is capable of simulating a real-world environment right down to the smallest details. Several scenarios have been prepared in order to test how the autonomous vehicle behaves in an urban or suburban environment.
It seems likely that the first scenarios conducted would test out how the vehicle behaves in a traffic ham. The researchers even added a couple of surprises for the vehicle. Traffic lights were places, busy intersections were created and they even placed a few pedestrian crossing to see how the robot car reacts.
In order to achieve maximum efficiency, Ford has decided to limit their tests to a Hybrid vehicle. Also, the car producers added a few more gizmos to the city in order to give a helping hand to the car’s navigational computer. Radars were emplaced in crowded intersections, the car got new navigational sensors and better mapping technology.