The Clever Way Ford’s Self-Driving Cars Navigate in Snow

There are a few tricky problems to solve before we can all let go of the wheel. One of those is how autonomous cars respond to bad weather.

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What does this mean? Is Ford going to send mapping cars around the world and create their own maps, or does it mean that ford will have driverless cars with LiDAR collecting data and sharing it with other cars through the cloud, or through V2V for local information? Will it be unique to the Ford brand? I.e. if you don’t have a Ford, do you miss out?

How will they know what local speeds are, currently this is a big job in all countries because other than taking photos of speed signs, map companies need to subscribe to gazettes from each city, county, state and country;  because they change all the time.

I love the idea of a car that knows how to drive in winter because we not only have snow, but we also have black ice and besides the science that DOT’s use to identify the likelihood of black ice and historic locations where it is known to occur, it is invisible.

Machine identifying, let alone reading speed signs is difficult any time and even more so in winter and ambient light makes this even more difficult in countries like New Zealand and places like Alaska.

If signs were designed to be machine readable, perhaps using technologies like beacons, Bluetooth or perhaps bar codes ( including being readable if the sign has a coating of ice over it) there might be a solution, but this would effectively mean replacing every sign in the world. That will happen in test cities, but beyond that you need a critical mass of vehicles that would use the technology in order to achieve a BCR or return on investment and that is a big ask.

Do you have a car navigation application? It doesn’t matter whether it is portable, built into the car, or a Smartphone app. Does it tell you the speed zones for your region? Many don’t. If it does, how often is it right?

I’m going to run a couple of polls and I’d love you to participate. You will find them at and at The first asks if you have car navigation with speed zones, how often is it accurate, the second asks if your car nav system actually have speed zones, or just provide you with driving directions and travel times.

Please join in for this straw poll.

See on Scoop.itLocation Is Everywhere

About Luigi Cappel

Writer for hire, marketing consultant specialising in Location Based Services. Futurist and Public Speaker Auckland, New Zealand
This entry was posted in Autonomous cars, Driverless car, Driverless Cars, driverless vehicles, Intelligent Transport Systems, LiDAR, Map data, Motoring and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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