Ford announced that one of its driverless cars was able to drive in complete darkness, with no headlights or streetlights, Business Insider reports.
The successful test involved a driverless Ford Fusion, and was so dark that those who conducted the test needed night vision goggles to see.
"The purpose for doing the testing at night was to test a situation where there might be poor illumination," said Randy Visintainer, director of autonomous vehicles for Ford.
The test was on a closed course, and the car reached speeds of 60 mph. The car navigated curved roads successfully, Visintainer said.
The car navigates using LiDAR technology, which creates 3-D maps of a car’s environment. The car then uses maps and cameras to navigate. But in total darkness, cameras are not helpful, which makes LiDAR’s success more vital.
Ford now had 30 driverless vehicles, the largest driverless fleet of any automaker.
Britain is in the lead at putting driverless vehicles on national roads, the Telegraph reports.
Driverless technology could mean an increase in speed at auto races, Bloomberg notes.
Ford’s driverless vehicle program staff knew this breakthrough was imminent.
"We totally expected we’d be able to do this," said Visintainer.
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