Ford Motors will soon replace test drivers with robots. While Google and other company’s are working on driver-free autonomous vehicles for the general public, Ford wants to use driver-free vehicles for safety testing purposes.
Ford on Tuesday announced that it will use the robots for durability testing. The robots will use implemented steering technology to mimic the real-life driver experience.
Each of the company’s vehicles will be put through a “stress course” that is full of curbs, speed bumps, rough concrete, and various other obstacles that drivers face on a regular basis.
Ford will put each vehicle through the equivalent of 10 years wear-and-tear damage.
The vehicles will be fully bot-controlled, which will allow operators to monitor the vehicles as they go through a regular round of steering, shifting, and pedal movements.
Human operators who are monitoring the robots will collect data from their control room, and that data will be used to help improve Ford vehicles.
The best part? A single operator will be able to control up to 8 robots at one time. That single operator control station will mean less actual drivers and therefore lower costs for testing purposes.
Take a closer look at the inside of the robot controlled Ford test vehicle:
Here’s a video Ford just released which showcases the new test vehicle technology:
Do you think Ford can get the type of feedback it needs with the help of a robot? Or should the company continue to employ real human drivers who act less predictably than robot controlled vehicles?