If someone says ‘classic American car’, you’re probably going to think of the Ford Mustang. It’s been one of Ford’s best-selling models ever since its release in 1965, and is synonymous with V8 engines and cruising down the highway. But would you want to let the car drive itself?
Tech giant Siemens has fed an early Mustang with autonomous technology, and has unveiled it at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018. The gadgetry probably makes this Mustang one of the most technologically advanced ever built!
Classic engineering and self-driving technology have been fused together, and we’ll see it go up the Goodwood Hillclimb every day throughout the rest of the festival.
Siemens has collaborated with Cranfield University’s Advance Vehicle Engineering Center to equip the Mustang with “a suite of state-of-the-art sensors and control algorithms.” Advanced location scanning technology was used to create a 3D map of every inch of the course, which is 1.16 miles long.
Without the Siemens badging and the rather lovely electric blue stripes, you might think this is just a normal classic Mustang. Exterior changes are limited to just a couple of sensors on the bonnet and boot, and the only clue on the inside is a big button to kill the engine if something goes wrong.
A 1965 Mustang isn’t the first vehicle you’d choose to cram with autonomous gadgetry, and apparently it wasn’t a walk in the park. A spokesperson for the team confirmed that the car “presented a particular challenge as the model can be notoriously unpredictable even under manual control.” Or in other words, you might be seeing it beached in the hay bales alongside the course. To stop that happening, a senior lecturer will be on board just in case.
How do you feel about an autonomous Mustang? Cool, or sacrilege?