Ford's second-gen autonomous Fusion looks elegantly simple

It just looks like roof rails and extra mirrors.

Ford is on a mission to bring an autonomous ride-sharing fleet to the market by 2021. The automaker is moving headlong into the research and development of the technology, partnering with companies like Blackberry to develop the necessary hardware and software. Ford currently has 10 Fusion Hybrids fitted with its first-generation of autonomous tech, but has now revealed plans to triple the size of the fleet with the new second-generation vehicle.

The current model has been on the streets for three years. Its array of LiDAR, radar, and camera sensors is functional, if a little odd looking. The new second-gen system is far more elegant. The new Fusion Hybrids with the system look like they've been fitted with roof rails and an extra set of mirrors on the A pillars. The new sensor design allows for this improved fitment and appearance. Ford says the tech is not only more compact but better at detecting than ever before.

As you can see in the video, the entire car is stripped bare and rebuilt with all the new parts. The truck contains all of the electronics. Ford plans to have 90 of these autonomous test vehicles on the road in the next few years.

The entire industry seems focused on mobility and bringing electric and autonomous vehicles to the masses. Shrinking and improving the tech is one of the biggest steps toward full-on integration. Look for more news in the coming weeks as Ford is bringing the new autonomous Fusion Hybrids to CES and the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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