Ford CEO Mark Fields surprised everyone with his crazy announcement at an event in Silicon Valley that the company will take just 5 years to produce fully autonomous vehicle on the road. By 2021 it’ll be built at scale. The cars will be used specifically for ride-hailing and ride-sharing. The company invested in new tech partners and doubled the size of its Silicon Valley R&D team in Palo Alto. So we can say Ford is very seriously taking the next step and does not want to make any mistake to give the globe the next generation ride.
The Ford vehicle will be fully autonomous with level 4 arrangement; that’s “proper read-a-newspaper-and-have-a-snooze” option, while the car drives for you. SAE 4 system is the most striking feature of the car as it means it will not even need a steering wheel or pedals. But the company said that its car would not feature any sort of “handover” system. The company has committed to the project as part of a ride-hailing and sharing service, proves that it is thinking outside the primary dealer business model.
Ford is investing a lot and expanding its business and also collaborating with a $150 million investment with Baidu in Velodyne which is the LIDAR (laser-radar) camera system that works for many self-driving car projects. Ford is also buying SAIPS that is an Israeli machine learning company and licensing technology from Nirenberg Neuroscience, which is a computer vision company to strengthen the company to bring that car into a reality that has been counted as a ‘concept car’ till now.
Mark Fields said they understand the market is changing, and it is the perfect for self up gradation. Ford Fusion sedan is currently using to test its self-driving technology. Though Ford has not confirmed how the car would look like, or how much it would cost. Nevertheless, they will get 5 more years for that, and the details will be answered within that time, Ford promises.