Self-driving technology company Argo AI this week launched its third-generation self-driving test vehicle in Detroit.
The company is now deploying the new Ford Fusion Hybrid in collaboration with Ford in the five major cities in which it operates: Pittsburgh, Palo Alto, Miami, Washington, D.C., and Detroit.
Argo AI said that the new vehicles feature technology that brings them a step closer to production specification, with an upgraded sensor suite and a new computing system with much greater processing power than its previous vehicles.
The company has also added redundant braking and steering systems to help ensure the safe deployment of its self-driving vehicles.
In a blog post unveiling its new self-driving fleet, Argo AI President Peter Rander said that bringing the vehicles to Detroit would give the company an opportunity to learn how they operate in another test environment and make its self-driving system smarter through exposure to different road infrastructure design, driving behaviour and traffic light placement.
“The collective knowledge we’re gaining by operating in five very different locales is a big part of the reason why we’re making great progress,” said Rander.
He noted that while some Detroit streets are wide and can have unmarked lanes, other residential streets require the vehicles to navigate narrow two-lane roads with cars parked on both sides.
“Add in pop-up construction that’s occurring all over the city and you’ve got a diverse, condensed training ground that really informs our development efforts,” he added.