(CBS SF) – As Google’s self-driving vehicles have become an increasingly common sight on Bay Area roadways, Ford announced they are testing autonomous cars in snowy environments.
The automaker posted a YouTube video on Monday of their autonomous car being tested during wintry weather at the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor.
“There’s a lot of winter here. We’re used to the conditions changing rapidly,” said Greg Stevens, Ford’s global manager of driver assistance research. “As humans, we understand that can happen and we know how to deal with it and we need to make sure that our autonomous vehicle can also deal with those situations in the same way.”
According to the Detroit Free Press, the autonomous vehicle creates a 3-D map of its surroundings in favorable weather. When the car can’t see the ground due to snow, it uses above-ground landmarks to locate itself on the map.
“We eventually want our autonomous vehicles to detect deteriorating conditions, decide whether it’s safe to keep driving, and if so, for how long,” Jim McBride, Ford’s technical leader for autonomous vehicles told the newspaper.
Google has tested self-driving cars on roads near its Mountain View headquarters for years. Last month, the internet giant and Ford were reportedly partnering on autonomous vehicles.