Ford says current car intelligence only ‘scratching the surface’

Ford says the new Fusion sedan has 70 on-board computers. About five years ago a Lexus executive boasted their latest model had more than 30. Which at that time was the cutting edge.

It’s not just computers. It is also the eyes and ears of the 2013 Fusion, which are its 145 actuators, 4,716 signals and 74 sensors.

They are what make the car’s radar, sonar, cameras, accelerometers and temperature readings operate. They also can detect moisture for the rain-sensing wipers or tell the car how further back it can go when automatically backing into a space.

Together, those sensors produce more than 25 gigabytes of data per hour. To put this into perspective, if you legally downloaded movies from a service they can range from about 300mb each to over 8 gigabytes for BlueRay. Sounds like that’s only the start.

“So far, we’ve just scratched the surface of what is possible,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford’s chief technical officer.

Ford is looking for cars to be able to integrate more completely with the driver, warning them about hazards they can’t see and making sure technology integrates with the driver.