Auto News: Ford Snow Tests, New Audi SUV, Leno’s F-150

ford snow

In this week’s edition of Car Pro auto news, Ford is claiming an automaker first. It says it’s the first carmaker to put its autonomous vehicles through their paces in the snow.

Ford has been conducting self-driving vehicle winter driving tests in Michigan, including at Mcity – a 32-acre, full-scale simulated real-world urban environment at the University of Michigan. Ford says it’s important, since more than half of the U.S. residents live in snowy areas.

The Ford Fusion test cars use high-resolution 3D mapping and LiDAR remote sensing for localization to facilitate driving when road markings are not visible, as in, when they’re covered by snow.

Fully autonomous driving can’t rely on GPS because Ford says it is only accurate to several yards – which isn’t enough to localize or identify the position of the vehicle.

LiDAR, on the other hand, is much more accurate than GPS – identifying the Fusion Hybrid’s lane location right down to the centimeter. LiDAR emits short pulses of laser light to precisely allow the vehicle to create a real-time, high-definition 3D image of what’s around it.

Ford is teaming up with University of Michigan technologists on the ongoing project.

Audi’s first all-electric SUV is on its way.

The automaker says it will start building its e-tron quattro electric crossover in Brussels in 2018. The SUV is based on the concept Audi debuted last September. It will fit somewhere between the Audi Q7 and the Audi Q5 in its lineup.

The SUV will have three motors and should offer a roughly 310-mile driving range.

Ford Jay Leno Harley-Davidson F-150

Jay Leno is getting ready to auction off his custom Harley Davidson Ford F-150 for charity.

It’s not just custom either. It happens to be the first Harley-Davidson F-Series truck ever built. It also has a turbocharged 5.4-liter Triton V8 engine that delivers 360-horsepower.

The car will go on the block at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction in late January. Leno plans to be on the auction block during bidding. Sale proceeds will benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Photo Credits: Ford, Audi
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