This could be a game-changing technology in the field of self-driving cars

Ever wondered what will happen to the autonomous cars when the weather conditions are bad? What if it’s raining and your self-driving car gets cold feet err., cold tires? Ford has given it a thought and invested in a company called ClimaCell. ClimaCell specializes in "microweather" technology capable of tracking location-specific, short-term weather patterns; and it has caught Ford’s attention. The Blue Oval recently participated in a Series B funding round that raised $45 million for ClimaCell.

It’s The Need Of The Hour

Ford To Invest In Microweather Technology For Autonomous Cars
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Under bad weather conditions, driving gets tough for human beings, so imagine how rough it can be for machines in the same conditions.

It gets impossible for machines to operate since their sensors become obstructed by rain or snow.

Not just this; with the way global warming is hitting the world, even solar storms could affect their capabilities. So, what ClimaCell is doing is necessary to be implemented even in autonomous cars.

What Does ClimaCell Do?

In simple words, ClimaCell uses an array of sensors, much larger than traditional weather forecasting, to track weather patterns and use it for various purposes. This allows it to focus more on specific areas, such as where a car may be, rather than entire regions. ClimaCell has developed weather-forecasting tools, including a high-definition weather map called HyperCast. The company is not new to the industry. It actually has a clientele that includes airlines JetBlue and Delta. ClimaCell plans to use the new funding to expand coverage to areas with no existing weather-forecasting infrastructure, including the developing world.

The Blue Oval’s Vision

Ford Wants To Offer Fully Autonomous Cars by 2021 High Resolution Exterior
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Ford, on the other hand, sees this as an opportunity to implement the technology to relevant initiatives, like the development of self-driving cars and its new services under the FordPass program. With ClimaCell, Ford is developing something known as a Transportation Mobility Cloud that will be used for data sharing and could serve as a distribution network for real-time weather data.

What They Had To Say?

Marcy Klevorn, Ford’s head of mobility, said in a statement, "High-definition, microweather information supports multiple mobility and AV [autonomous vehicle] initiatives, including route planning, the services we can offer via FordPass, and sharing information via the Transportation Mobility Cloud. In the future, real-time data will allow autonomous vehicles to be routed around bad weather."

Our Take

This is something no automaker had tapped yet, but will be used by all automakers developing autonomous cars. Does this make them dependent on Ford, or will there be rival companies coming up with similar concepts? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Further reading

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