With testing already going on in Michigan at Michigan University’s Mcity facility and on public roads in Arizona, Ford autonomous vehicle testing will also start in California in 2016. The Silicon Valley Ford testing and innovation center will allow for a wider array of tests thanks to California’s year-round mild weather, since rain and snow make testing autonomous vehicles more difficult.
Recently approved by the California DMV, Ford will test a new Ford Fusion on California roads, allowing testers to observe how the autonomous Fusion will react to the different environment and different traffic laws, like motorcycles that can legally split lanes.
Silicon Valley is the perfect place for autonomous testing thanks to the abundance of tech knowledge in the area. Ford hopes to develop lasting partnerships with the local companies like Google, Uber, and Baidu, all of which are testing autonomous vehicles around the country. Ford will also draw on its existing partnership with the University of California Berkeley and other local colleges.
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