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Ford Teams with MIT and Stanford for Automated Driving Research

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Jan. 22, 2014—Ford is working on new projects with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University pertaining to automated driving, according to a recent press release from the automaker. 

The MIT research will focus on scenario planning to predict actions of other vehicles and pedestrians, while Stanford will explore how a vehicle might maneuver to allow its sensors to peek around obstructions.

The collaborations help to serve Ford’s “Blueprint for Mobility,” which pursues autonomous functionality and advanced technologies expected to be prevalent in 2025 and beyond.

"To deliver on our vision for the future of mobility, we need to work with many new partners across the public and private sectors, and we need to start today," said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president of Ford research and innovation. "Working with university partners like MIT and Stanford enables us to address some of the longer-term challenges surrounding automated driving while exploring more near-term solutions for delivering an even safer and more efficient driving experience."

The Ford automated Fusion Hybrid will be used in the research. The vehicle uses four LiDAR sensors to generate a real-time 3D map of the vehicle’s surrounding environment. MIT hopes to use advanced algorithms to help the vehicle learn to predict where moving vehicles and pedestrians could be in the future.

Stanford will explore how the same sensors could see around obstacles.

"Our goal is to provide the vehicle with common sense," said Greg Stevens, global manager for driver assistance and active safety at Ford research and innovation. "Drivers are good at using the cues around them to predict what will happen next, and they know that what you can't see is often as important as what you can see. Our goal in working with MIT and Stanford is to bring a similar type of intuition to the vehicle."

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