After scouring the web on a brew-break having a quick look for any new that would surprise and get me digging deeper, I read an article on Tech News World (written yesterday), essentially saying that Ford are getting out of the car business.
I was intrigued and read in further. Whilst the car manufacturing giant has recently announced a slight change in direction for the business, with all the development in autonomous cars and autopilot systems, it has now announced it will have a whole fleet of self driving cars with no need for a driver, that will be suitable for the road in just five years time.
However, this isn’t quite was I was led to believe from the title of the post and so I continued to delve deeper, coffee in hand looking for definitive answers to what the article could’ve meant and where it got the info from. I don’t think I have found one at all, but I came to my own conclusion that Ford doesn’t have it’s eyes on making it big in other industries and they certainly aren’t getting out of making cars. Rather, the company has pushed on with it’s development in the area of driver-less cars, recently tripling it’s efforts to get towards having the safest, most reliable of these fleets ahead of other manufacturers looking to achieve similar goals.
Uber is said to be targeted, as it is thought the transportation come part-time taxi/car pool phenomenon would widely benefit from completely autonomous cars, which would only require a passenger and not even the presence of a driver or supervisor. Bold statement, in my opinion, as Uber have already started testing auto-piloted cars from other manufacturers like Volvo. I can’t lie, when I heard it, I recalled images of Total Recall when Arnie gets into a yellow cab on Mars driven by a robot driver…
Nevertheless, I’m sure Ford will keep plugging on. I don’t see any signs in the next five years of them not keeping their eye on the ball with good old-fashioned cars made for the driver. I myself have a Ford Fiesta which is easily the best handling car I’ve driven. The 2017 model has been spotted out and about with that funky camo skin on that prototypes everywhere seem to be wearing these days, as well as further development of the ST line with the new Fiesta ST200 having great (yet pricey) reviews. Combine this with the latest release of the Ford Focus RS, which came out as favourite of all the recent hot hatches from Auto Trader’s Focus RS vs Rivals YouTube video, as well as the upcoming relaunch of the Ford GT (the definition of a car built for driving experience), to come sometime next year – I don’t see any sign of them slowing up on producing great cars to drive. In fact, they’re only getting better at this too.
Whilst reading up on all this I did find some cool videos and information on how the technology has been developed, which brings me to why I got so way-laid from Photoshop and Dreamweaver today… The video below shows how Ford have been using lasers to map the 3D world around the car, which thus reads signs and situations as it is programmed to. Being such a visual learner and generally just aesthetically led, I like the idea that in order for us to be able to tell an on board computer how to drive like a human, we have to make it see the world like a human. I’m no engineer, but I dare say that similar laser technology could be applied to multiple roles in order to create more engaging environments in many industries, from gaming all the way through to digital marketing, graphics and websites; with possibilities for holographs maybe even tied in with more advanced AIs to even create a real Cortana! Or am I just getting carried away with myself?