CES 2016: Ford to Increase Research on Self-Driving Cars, Partner With Amazon
Ford used the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to detail some of the plans it has for self-driving cars, connected cars and even drones.
The company plans to triple the amount of self-driving vehicles in its fleet for 2016, Re/Code reports. It has also announced an important deal with Amazon that would allow vehicle owners to communicate with their connected home devices.
The Amazon deal replaces the deal that Ford was expected to make with Google. Ford will use Amazon software to help cars communicate with owners' homes.
With this technology, Ford owners could talk to their Amazon Echo speakers, instructing the device to turn on the car while they are still inside the house. Or drivers could speak to their cars and tell them to open the garage door as they are approaching home.
Also, with the Amazon software, Ford owners could control their homes' lighting and security systems while they are away.
Ford has also partnered with Chinese manufacturer DJI to develop a drone and vehicle system that would help survey areas that would otherwise be impossible to reach.
The auto manufacturer has meanwhile created a challenge for the drone developer, asking for a system that would allow drones to take off from the back of a Ford F-150 pickup truck, survey a crisis area, and then land back in the truck to report the information found. Ford and DJI believe that a system like this could help officials monitor forest fires, inspect bridges that might be dangerous, and complete many other tasks in hard to reach areas.
At CES, Ford also announced a push for mobile Internet in its cars. The company also wants other carmakers to use its in-car software and navigation equipment. Toyota has already said it will use Ford's SmartDeviceLink software, and other carmakers are said to be considering doing the same.
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