Ford Licenses Robotic Testing Technology To Other OEMs
System Developed in Partnership with Autonomous Solutions, Inc.
Automotive testing may seem like a fun and glamorous profession, but for real testing, as in the testing that deliberately tries to break stuff and identify failure points, it’s a grueling, punishing task that, for humans, can result in back problems, chronic pain, and fatigue. For the mundane, repetitive, and physically demanding tasks that are a requirement of modern vehicle testing and development, Ford has developed a robotic control system that can be controlled remotely by engineers, allowing real-time diagnostics, logging, and testing at the comfort of a workstation, rather than being jostled about in the cab.
Developed in conjunction with Utah-based Autonomous Solutions, Inc., Ford is now licensing its technology for use by other automotive OEMs to accelerate testing schedules and decrease discomfort and potential injuries for test drivers. The system was instrumental in the testing of the new 2017 Ford Super Duty truck.
You may remember that this technology was utilized in the development of the 2015 Ford Transit van. The technology has been in use since 2013 and has been refined and updated to increase accuracy and responsiveness. To ensure safety, the system includes sensors to identify pedestrians or other vehicles around it to allow for an emergency stop. Engineers can also remotely make course corrections, stop, or restart the preprogrammed test.