Ford has partnered up with RideOS on autonomous car nav software. Ford has already done some extensive testing and development on self-driving vehicles, so it makes sense that a startup like RideOS would choose to link up with a company who is already doing work in the field it wants to create products for. The software that RideOS will be working to develop will not be just about navigation though that will be one of its functions, as it’s described that part of its capabilities will include giving routes to autonomous cars.
Alongside this feature RideOS also wants the software to deliver other instructions to the vehicles, though its goal is to enable the software to handle fleets of autonomous cars and not just one, which could make it a very useful and versatile software. The goal is to have the software ready for when autonomous cars are already on the roads. One example of how the software might work is alerting fleets about changes in road conditions or traffic if one vehicle encounters these situations, which could allow the rest of the fleet to avoid the areas where there might be traffic jams or accidents. From that point on, the software could then send new routes to those vehicles if any of them were supposed to be traveling through the area where there might be an issue.
While Ford is RideOS’s first automotive partner it plans to work with other car brands as well in the future. At the moment there’s no mention of which brands those might be but the plan is to work with multiple brands so that it can use the sourced data from all of them to improve the software’s navigational directions, not unlike Waze and how it uses crowd-sourced data from people that use the app. Right now there’s no time frame for a launch of this software but if the idea is to have it release after autonomous vehicles have been approved and are already driving, it might be a few years.