Cities like Rochester, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Denver, Boston etc. have the highest rate of snow fall in USA. Undoubtedly, people living in these areas know how difficult and dangerous it is to drive there. This is one of the reasons why it’s pretty exciting for Ford to announce it is testing fully autonomous cars in these less-than-optimal environments, which are better suited for skiing.
High-resolution 3D mapping and LiDAR are used by the test vehicles to keep them on the road. It is done when the cameras and other sensors, which the cars usually come with, are made useless by the reduced visibility of snow flurries. The tests will take place in Michigan’s Mcity testing facility in partnership with the University of Michigan’s college of engineering, the 3D maps used to keep the cars on the road will be created during dry weather.
For autonomous driving systems, reduced visibility has been a huge hurdle due to rain and snow. In this case, robot drivers could make the biggest difference in terms of safety. Working in conjunction with the vehicle’s traction control, drivetrain, and braking system, a car that can get through a blizzard, without sliding off the road, would be a welcome addition to anywhere that enjoys winter wonderlands.