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Ford wants you to know it's serious about self-driving cars

The company is tripling its fleet of test vehicles this year.
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CES doesn't officially start until tomorrow, but already Ford has talked up its new project with DJI to launch drones from moving vehicles, as well as impending updates to its Sync 3 connected car platform. The automotive giant is also using the biggest tech show of the year to reaffirm its commitment to self-driving vehicles, announcing that it plans to add 20 more Ford Fusion Hybrid cars to its autonomous armada in 2016. According to Ford, tripling the number test vehicles in its garage would give it the biggest fleet of any outfit working on self-driving technology.

Like many automotive and tech companies, Ford is beavering away to bring advanced self-driving vehicles to the consumer market. Its current experiments in autonomy are taking place in Michigan and Arizona, but recently Ford said it'll begin testing in California this year too. The newer Fusions the company is adding to its fleet will be slightly different to the ones undergoing testing right now. They'll be the first to use Ford's "third-generation autonomous vehicle platform," which employs the help of Velodyne's newest LiDAR sensors. These are apparently so good at building a 3D picture of the world that only two sensors are needed, instead of the four the previous generation of vehicles require.

There's no question Ford's serious about self-driving cars, but this might not be the last we hear of the company's ambitions this week. If you recall, a pre-CES rumor asserted that Google and Ford would announce a collaboration for developing autonomous vehicles at some point during the trade show. So... watch this space.

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