Self-driving Ford Mustang will tackle Goodwood hill climb

Self-driving Ford Mustang will tackle Goodwood hill climb

This self-driving car isn't some futuristic creation, but a tried-and-true classic

Not only will Roborace bring its self-driving race car to the Goodwood Festival of Speed to take on the hill climb event, but another self-driving car — a Ford Mustang — will also be present.

It is a heavily outfitted version of the classic 1965 pony car. The Mustang is a result of a collaboration between Siemens and Cranfield University and the two plan to debut their efforts on the famed Goodwood hill climb. Like Robocar, the self-driving Mustang will navigate 1.16 miles through hay bales, flint walls, and forests found on the Goodwood estate. 

The technology behind all self-driving cars is rather remarkable, but Siemens and Cranfield had a different task. The two needed to take all of the 1965 Mustang’s components and ensure they could handle precise control from onboard computers. For example, there’s no electrically assisted steering or suspension trickery; the Mustang features all of its original steering and suspension parts.

The teams then developed a 3D scan of the track with Bentley Systems to make the Mustang aware of its position on the course.

Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK and Ireland, said the self-driving Mustang is meant to represent the past and the future of the automotive industry. This year’s festival seemed fitting, as it’s the event’s 25th anniversary. The Mustang wears a silver color scheme to honor the festival’s silver anniversary.

Both Roborace and Siemens declared their vehicles will be the first self-driving car to tackle the Goodwood hill climb. If we had to place bets, Robocar will likely be quicker up the hill with a 500-horsepower electric powertrain. However, watching a classic Mustang scoot up the hill on its own accord will certainly be something to witness.

The Festival of Speed opened Thursday and runs through Sunday.

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