There will soon be some weird-looking cars riding around Austin.
Ford has announced plans to begin testing autonomous cars in the Texas capital, which has become a hot spot for self-driving tech.
The automaker and its autonomous vehicle subsidiary Argo AI will first spend several months developing detailed maps of the area, which it sees as a key component to safe self-driving vehicles. Engineers will also note any local traffic quirks that the car’s brains need to be particularly aware of and will address the issue of scooters, which are a prevalent obstacle in the city.
The self-driving hybrid Fusion sedans and their roof-mounted sensor arrays are already being tested in several cities, including Miami and Washington, D.C., ahead of the planned deployment of autonomous delivery and ride-hailing services in 2021 that will feature specially designed hybrid utility vehicles.
Volkswagen recently pledged to invest $2.6 billion in Argo AI to become an equal partner in the company with Ford with an eye on eventually integrating the technology into its own vehicles.