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Siemens reveals 1965 Ford Mustang as autonomous vehicle

12 July 2018

In a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Siemens is set to make history with the first autonomous hillclimb in a 1965 classic Ford Mustang.

Utilising autonomous technology, developed in collaboration with Cranfield University, the autonomous hillclimb will be attempted today (Thursday 12 July), before being repeated every day until the end of the festival. Footage of the attempt will also be livestreamed around the festival.

Juergen Maier, CEO Siemens UK & Ireland, said: “To help celebrate Goodwood’s 25th year anniversary, we’ve partnered with Cranfield University to bridge the gap between the legacy of the automotive industry while pointing to the future of autonomy in terms of both motoring and wider industrial applications.

“Customising a 1965 Ford Mustang with autonomous technologies, we’re going to attempt the famous hillclimb autonomously for the first time in Goodwood’s history.

“With digitalisation already everywhere, our aspiration will allow guests to take an awe-inspiring look into the future and experience the technology of tomorrow, today as a means of ensuring UK plc is at the forefront of a technology-led revolution like no other before it.”

Dr James Brighton, Senior Lecturer at Cranfield, said: “Goodwood offers us a chance to reflect on why we have an emotional connection with cars and acts as a reminder that humans like to be engaged and part of the action. The Siemens Autonomous Hillclimb challenge project connects the classic spirit of automotive adventure with advanced technology.”

Using a 1965 Ford Mustang for the autonomous hillclimb poses particular challenges for the team of Siemens’ engineers involved, none more so than the delicate handling control required to navigate the complex course.

Using advanced location scanning technology from Bentley Systems, the engineering team behind the vehicle have developed an accurate 3Dimensional scan of the track to create connected awareness of the car’s own position.

The eye-catching vehicle, which has been wrapped in a silver design to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Goodwood, will be parked in the main paddock for visitors to get up close to, and learn more about the autonomous vehicle technology, and careers within STEM.

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