Ford is teaming up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University to work on automated car technology.
The trio will build on the Ford Fusion Hybrid research vehicle unveiled last month, as well as Ford's Blueprint for Mobility, which tries to envision what transportation will look like in 2025 and beyond.
"To deliver on our vision for the future of mobility, we need to work with many new partners across the public and private sectors, and we need to start today," Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer at Ford research and innovation, said in a statement.
"Working with university partners like MIT and Stanford enables us to address some of the longer-term challenges surrounding automated driving while exploring more near-term solutions for delivering an even safer and more efficient driving experience."
The Fusion Hybrid research vehicle adds four LiDAR sensors (pictured) to existing Ford cars for a real-time 3D map of its surroundings.
MIT will be using advanced algorithms to help the car predict where people and other cars will be in the future. "This scenario planning provides the vehicle with a better sense of the surrounding risks, enabling it to plan a path that will safely avoid pedestrians, vehicles and other moving objects," Ford said.
Stanford, meanwhile, is researching how an automated car might see around obstacles, like a truck blocking a lane. "This research would enable the sensors to 'take a peek ahead' and make evasive manoeuvres if needed," Ford said. "For example, if the truck ahead slammed on its brakes, the vehicle would know if the area around it is clear to safely change lanes."
"Our goal is to provide the vehicle with common sense," said Greg Stevens, global manager for driver assistance and active safety at Ford research and innovation. "Drivers are good at using the cues around them to predict what will happen next, and they know that what you can't see is often as important as what you can see. Our goal in working with MIT and Stanford is to bring a similar type of intuition to the vehicle."
Ford made the announcement as part of the 2014 Washington Auto Show. The car maker was also at this year's CES to show off a solar-powered vehicle called the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept.
Meanwhile, back in September, Ford chief Alan Mulally was at IFA in Berlin to show off futuristic car tech, like self-parking.
Also that month, Ford acquired Michigan-based Livio. Ultimately, the two companies want to develop "an industry standard for smartphone-to-vehicle communications," Ford said.