July 04, 2017
Ford Motor Co revealed a new team under its banner. It is Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Research team and has a target to boost the company’s technological developments. The new addition to Ford’s Research and Advanced Engineering department had it coming, sooner or later.
The new team is aimed to work and evaluate vehicle sensor technology, machine learning methods and development of personnel mobility devices, drones, and other robotics to deliver first to last mile travel. They will also emphasize on autonomous technology.
The vice president of Ford’s Research and Advanced Engineering and Chief Technology Officer said in a blog post, “The impact of robotics and artificial intelligence on the way we get around – even in just the next five to ten years – is potentially enormous.”
Ford’s Self-driving cars
In addition to this, Argo AI, an AI company will be developing the brains of Ford’s self driving vehicles. According to a post, Argo supposedly has all the information and data needed to kick start the first-gen self-driving cars hit the roads. The new team is expected to work in collaboration with Argo and meet the deadlines. If things go according to plan, Ford will soon have more than one separate fleet of self-driving cars testing on the roads; where one will be led by the new team and the other by Argo.
However, when we look at other companies who are building teams especially for robotics and artificial intelligence, Ford ain’t the first one. Honda has been running a program to develop the robotic capabilities and it has frequently demonstrated its Asimo humanoid robot. Apart from Honda, Toyota is also making progress with its AI and robotics. Toyota’s Research Institute is an entire subsidiary which has been dedicated to long term research and development of robotics and AI, along with collaborations and partnerships with leading academic institutions.