A souped-up, self-driving Ford Fusion destined to be tested on California roads was on display at the Detroit auto show. The Dearborn, Michigan-based company expects 90 of these cars to be plying the roads in three states by the end of the year.

The company is refining the cameras, radar, and lidar that gathers information about the road and surroundings of the self-driving cars. Lidar, one of the key technologies being used in autonomous driving, uses lasers to bounce of objects to generate a computer image for simulated sight.

The latest Fusion moves the lidar from the roof to a spot on each windshield pillar, like a small siren. It incorporates cameras into roof rails that look like a low-slung luggage rack. It has a heavy-duty GPS sensor on the roof, too, providing a stronger connection than you’d have in your phone, for example. 

Self-driving Ford Fusions

Besides the hardware, Ford is adding computing power and refining the cars’ software, incorporating machine learning so the sedans are able to make decisions about what’s happening in traffic in real time.

Ford is pushing to have its first commercially available self-driving cars for sale by 2021. The automaker has taken a stand that fully autonomous cars make more sense than vehicles that go into auto-pilot mode while expecting the driver to take over in an emergency. Ford expects the first applications to be in taxi fleets or ride-sharing in confined geographical areas, like a specific city.

“When the first fully autonomous vehicles from Ford come to the market in 2021, it won’t be for those who buy luxury vehicles,” said Raj Nair, Ford’s chief technology officer. “They will be designed to serve millions of customers. It’s the same commitment of bringing technology to the masses to make their lives better that’s defined our company for more than a century.” 

Learn more about self-driving cars.