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Ford Joins Race to Bring Autonomous Cars to the Road

Ford is the latest company to receive a a permit to test-drive their autonomous car of Californian public roads, bringing the technology one step closer to actualisation. The American car company now joins the ranks of Google, Apple, BMW, Mercedes, Nissan, Tesla and Volkswagen in developing the self-drive technology.

The work of more than 100 researches at Ford’s Research and Innovation Centre in Palo Alto has culminated in the development of their autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid car.

California is quickly earning a reputation as the most popular location for developing such technology. Their established regulations and vast pool of tech talent has played a huge role in getting self-driving cars on the road. A permit from the California Autonomous Vehicle Testing Program provides a regulatory framework to legally test self-driving cars. Though Ford is based in Detroit; Michigan law does not yet allow for self-driving car to be tested in the state.

And confirming our suspicion that cars are turning into smartphones, the new Ford ST supercar will be full of fancy new technology, including a windshield built of Gorilla Glass, which you may recognise as the material your smartphone screen is made from.

Ford GT supercar

The special multilayered hybrid windshield will be used on both the windshield and the rear engine cover. This will both increase the car’s lightness and make for a thougher, more scratch resistant window. The layering will also make the glass more shatter-resistant.

The new glass is 25 to 50% thinner, and at least as strong as traditional laminate glass. We can also expect to start seeing Gorilla glass being used in more affordable vehicles – as we saw with paddle shifters and carbon fibre parts before.

But despite all the merits of Gorilla Glass, its track record with the smartphone says you probably shouldn’t drop it on concrete.


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