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Ford will have way more fully autonomous research cars on the road this year

More than any other automaker, it claims

Ford

In a release this evening, Ford says it's doubling down on its self-driving research — tripling down, actually, going from 10 fully autonomous cars in its fleet up to "about 30" this year. That sounds like a relatively small number, but the company says it's enough to give it the largest fully autonomous research fleet of any automaker. (That obviously excludes Google, which isn't an automaker but had 53 self-driving vehicles on the road as of its November 2015 report, a mix of Lexus SUVs and its own prototypes.)

No mention of Google

Speaking of Google, Ford's release makes no mention of the Silicon Valley giant, which is rumored to be tying up with Ford in some capacity to build self-driving cars. That announcement could come later today at Ford's CES press conference. But independently of Google, Ford is touting a substantial amount of research and advancement in autonomous driving: its newest self-driving Fusion sedans are using next-generation sensors that are smaller, simpler, and cheaper, while featuring a longer range of sight.

The new test vehicles are expected to spend time in California and near Ford's headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.

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