Self-driving systems promise to revolutionize the way we use transportation to commute, but for those who enjoy off-roading, will the technology have such a significant impact?
It remains to be seen, but Ford is aware of the potential benefits and has just been granted a patent that will allow its off-road-focused vehicles to pilot themselves on a stretch of terrain, Off Road reports.
Ford’s system consists of a computer processor with stored instructions that can evaluate a section of terrain, and if it’s safe, traverse any obstacle, thanks in part to the active suspension system.
The patent shows that sensors in the vehicle will recognize an object and make a snap decision if the car can successfully navigate any challenges. If it determines that the obstacle can be overcome, it will decide whether or not it is safe for occupants to remain in the vehicle, alerting them if they can remain comfortable in their seats or should instead exit the vehicle.
Another interesting feature of the system is that it includes a hand-held remote control, potentially a device which will allow the owner to override the computer if it looks like something’s going to go wrong, like a rollover.
While other utility vehicles have downhill-descent control, Ford’s system is much more advanced, with the computers actually making decisions without driver input.
Is this the future? We sure hope so.