Ford edges closer to autonomous production

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Bloomberg reports this is a sign that Ford is getting closer to putting an autonomous auto on the road.

In a statement from Ford’s research lab in Palo Alto, California, Raj Nair, group vice-president of global product development, said: “For us, autonomous vehicles are about making the technology accessible to everyone, just as Henry Ford did with the automobile a century ago. Our team is now working to make this technology feasible for production.”

Ford didn’t say when it expected to begin selling a driverless car but CEO Mark Fields has previously said the auto industry will have fully autonomous vehicles on the roads by 2020.

Moving Ford’s driverless car from a research project to an advanced engineering effort is an important step toward bringing a model to market, Nair said. The next and final development stage is establishing a product programme with a specific on-sale date.

Automakers are racing to develop self-driving cars and overhaul their business models for a world where mobility is being redefined thanks to a global population move from rural to urban dwelling.

The automaker also said it is rolling out a car-sharing pilot test programme that helps owners of its models rent out their cars when they’re not using them. The pilot, through the Ford Credit unit, is being offered in six US cities and London.


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