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Harley Lover

New Lidar Brings Ford-Backed Argo AI a Big Step Closer to Full Self-Driving

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Interesting tidbits in the article; the one that jumped out at me is that apparently (if the article is accurate) the vehicle on which Ford's autonomous commercial delivery service will be based is now the Escape instead of the Transit Connect:

Quote

Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based self-driving start-up funded by Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and Volkswagen AG (OTC: VWAGY), announced that it has developed a new lidar sensor system with enough range to enable self-driving on highways.

Argo said that it believes its new lidar system's sensing range of 400 meters is the longest in the industry. It's enough, the company said, to assure that dark objects can be safely detected at highway speeds -- an important breakthrough that has so far eluded other developers. 
The technology also provides what Argo described as "ultra-high-resolution perception," meaning that it can quickly identify small objects that could be road hazards, even in complex urban settings.
Argo said that the system's development was enabled by its 2017 acquisition of lidar maker Princeton Lightwave, and specifically by former Princeton employees now working for Argo.
The company is working closely with Ford and Volkswagen on a series of self-driving vehicles. Those include a commercial vehicle based on Ford's Escape Hybrid SUV that will be used in a delivery service that Ford expects to launch next year.

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Full article: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/new-lidar-brings-ford-backed-argo-ai-a-big-step-closer-to-full-self-driving/ar-BB1glVFZ?OCID=HPDHP

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Edited by Harley Lover

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10 hours ago, rmc523 said:

Maybe they liked that it was a hybrid?

 

Agree, but I think most here were assuming that the Transit Connect (at least for this application) would be a hybrid as well. A delivery service based on the TC still makes more sense than one based on Escape. The TC is intended for such duty; the Escape, not so much.

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49 minutes ago, Harley Lover said:

 

Agree, but I think most here were assuming that the Transit Connect (at least for this application) would be a hybrid as well. A delivery service based on the TC still makes more sense than one based on Escape. The TC is intended for such duty; the Escape, not so much.

 

Unless you are delivering people....😉

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1 hour ago, twintornados said:

 

Unless you are delivering people....😉

Then use a full-size transit or e-transit. :).  Transit connects were used as taxis also.  
It could be a height issue if they are still using the sensor box on the roof.

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1 hour ago, twintornados said:

 

Unless you are delivering people....😉

 Transit Connects are in service as taxis...

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Couple things to keep in mind:

The Escape is sold world wide

The Transit Connect is getting replaced in the EU (if not other places) by a VW design

A NA Specific Transit Connect (or whatever it is called) isn't coming out for another year two and most likely will be slightly larger then the current TC. It will have a hybrid model since it will be based on the Maverick. 

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2 hours ago, silvrsvt said:

Couple things to keep in mind:

The Escape is sold world wide

The Transit Connect is getting replaced in the EU (if not other places) by a VW design

A NA Specific Transit Connect (or whatever it is called) isn't coming out for another year two and most likely will be slightly larger then the current TC. It will have a hybrid model since it will be based on the Maverick. 

 

I think this probably hits it on the head.

 

Probably a few different factors led to it switching to Escape for now.

 

I'd imagine they're working on scaling it to different vehicles longer term anyway.

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Really good stuff from Argo AI. Maybe their long range LIDAR technology can be combined with the techniques that Carnegie Mellon University researchers announced last year to improve object recognition accuracy. Carnegie Mellon works closely with Argo AI. 8111-talk (cmu.edu)

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