Ford Replaces Human Test Drivers with Robots for New Trucks
June 17, 2013 10:03 AM
comment(s) - last by
Ford wants more rigorous testing in a shorter amount of time for vehicle development
Step aside, humans, and welcome
our robot overlords
as Ford implements robotic test drivers for its Ford trucks.
Ford said it wants to use robots for rigorous test driving of its trucks
instead of humans
because humans are limited to a certain amount of time on dangerous test tracks, and Ford wants tougher trucks with more arduous testing.
Ford worked with Utah-based Autonomous Solutions Inc. to create a robotic control module that drives the trucks. The module is installed in the vehicle for acceleration, braking and steering, and is programmed to follow a certain course. But if it strays away, Ford has the ability to stop it and redirect the test drive.
The robotic test system also has other useful features, such as GPS, cameras (so engineers can track its position) and onboard sensors so the control module can stop the truck if a person or another car comes in its path.
The robots are to be used on Ford's toughest test tracks, which feature cobblestones, broken concrete, metal grates, rough gravel, oversized speed bumps and mud pits. Ford trucks must pass such tests in order to be certified for customer use, but with human test drivers, testing on these dangerous grounds was limited to once a day to keep the people safe.
“Some of the tests we do on our commercial trucks for North America are so strenuous that we limit the exposure time for human drivers,” says Dave Payne, manager of vehicle development operations at Ford. “The challenge is completing testing to meet vehicle development time lines while keeping our drivers comfortable.
“Robotic testing allows us to do both. We accelerate durability testing while simultaneously increasing the productivity of our other programs by redeploying drivers to those areas, such as noise level and vehicle dynamics testing.”
Payne further added that this is not a sign of Ford's movement into autonomous driving; only a better solution for the test track.
Ford is currently using its new robotic system on the new
full-size Transit van
, which has a 2014 launch date.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: i think this is a bad idea
6/18/2013 1:07:06 PM
You might want to actually read the article?
1. this testing is being done on commercial delivery vehicles, not "soccer mommy" vehicles
2. Ford isn't trying to "spin" anything, their explanation is the same as yours (except with better grammar.)
“... We accelerate durability testing while simultaneously increasing the productivity of our other programs by redeploying drivers to those areas, such as noise level and vehicle dynamics testing.”
"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
Human Rights Watch: Ban "Terminator" Robots Before We Lose Control
November 20, 2012, 5:30 PM
Foxconn Looks to Replace Humans With Suicide-Proof Robots
August 1, 2011, 10:11 AM
Ford Transit Connect Commercial Electric Vans Ships
December 9, 2010, 10:35 AM
2016 Cadillac CTS-V Packs 640 hp Punch with 200 mph Reach
January 23, 2015, 3:25 PM
BMW Testing Tech to Allow Users to Auto-Park, Summon Cars Via Smartwatch
December 16, 2014, 9:30 AM
Lamborghini Offers Up $6,000 Leather-Bound Android Smartphone
December 12, 2014, 3:12 PM
Quick Note: GM Teases Next Generation Chevrolet Volt
November 20, 2014, 3:26 PM
Audi is Latest to Step Into the Hydrogen Game, Delivers A7 Sportback h-tron quattro
November 19, 2014, 1:41 PM
Toyota’s Mirai Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Priced from $57,500 in the U.S.
November 18, 2014, 10:23 AM
Most Popular Articles
Microsoft Shows Off Latest Windows 10 Build, Preps it for Next Week Release
January 21, 2015, 2:57 PM
IDC: 2014 Sales Show PC Isn't Dead, But Desktop May be Dying
January 19, 2015, 1:50 PM
Police are Using New Handheld Radar Sensors to Peer Into Houses w/out Warrant
January 20, 2015, 1:35 PM
Great Expectations: The Rise and Fall of Google Glass Explorer Edition
January 16, 2015, 1:14 AM
Report: HTC One M9 (2015) is Tied to Under Armour-Powered HTC Smartwatch
January 19, 2015, 11:10 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information