Robots have become very useful in the automotive industry in recent years. Their uses are numerous, from helping build cars on assembly lines to servicing them. More recently, they’ve been helping Ford out in the testing process as well.
Sound a little too “Skynet” for you? Don’t worry, it’s not like that at all. By using what’s called “autonomous driving technology,” Ford is streamlining the driving trials for its upcoming 2014 Transit Connect van. These self-driving tools enable to manufacturer to hold more than one test at a given time, and even hold trials that may not necessarily be safe for human drivers.
The tests are held on a track built with a variety of surfaces to simulate different kinds of terrains: cobblestones, broken concrete, gravel, mud pits, and speed bumps, to name a few. The simulations are monitored from a central control, where a GPS is used to make sure the van stays on the correct route. As a result, the process allows for much more comprehensive, versatile, and efficient vehicle testing.
Here at Lindsay Ford, we can see numerous benefits to conducting tests using robotics. Our inner nerds also wonder, with the advent of parking assist technology, if this technology will soon allow for self-driving cars as well. Who knows!
Either way, we’re glad to see the company has this kind of help in the development process, allowing them to bring better, safer new Ford models to our showroom. To learn more about our lineup, or if you have questions about their safety features, stop by our Wheaton, MD showroom or contact us by phone.