Self-Driving 1965 Ford Mustang Plans Attack On Goodwood Hillclimb

Ah, the myriad joys of a vintage car: the feel of the wheel wriggling in your hands, the sound of the engine as you blip the throttle. Now Siemens is looking to remove all of that with a self-driving 1965 Ford Mustang that it plans to run up the famous Goodwood Hillclimb this year.


The project is actually a partnership between Siemens and Cranfield University, as the Evening Express reports, outfitting the classic with a “full suite of sensors and control algorithms” to make it up the hill with no human input.

But this is not exactly a super-Tesla or anything. First of, all, the Mustang is keeping its V8 and will still be able to be driven by a human, if you so desire. Second of all, the car will not be figuring the whole course out as it goes. The car will already have a map of where it needs to go, as Motoring Research explains:

Equipping an achingly cool 1965 Mustang with autonomous tech is very ‘Goodwood’, although it’s not been the work of the moment for the Siemens engineers. A particular challenge, they say, has been honing the sensitivity of the handling control to navigate the course.

The teams thus developed a precise 3D scan of the hill using location-scanning technology from Bentley Systems, for ‘connected awareness of the car’s own position’.

So this is more of a retrofit of getting an old car to drive itself around a pre-described route than it is making a whole new robot-car. That’s fine. It’s still not easy, I’m sure. RoboRace will be competing up the hill this year, too, so that covers that side of things.


And honestly, I don’t even mind that this project is happening. Cut up a ‘65 Mustang all you want. You can probably make an all-new one using reproduction parts, and they were never rare to begin with, nor was rarity ever part of its charm. If anything, this project gives me a little hope that classics may find a way to integrate into a self-driving future. After all, who cares about crash structures when cars don’t crash?

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.


Still Deadpan Andre Braugher

Will it be done in the morning? I always find it best to hit Goodwood in the morning. And this thing is long, hard and full of Siemens.