Ford Motor Co Executive Chairman, Bill Ford, said that new technologies which allow cars to communicate with each other or drive themselves might scare some people and the industry needs to allow prospective buyers to opt out of such features.
The Ford Chairman said that “A lot of this really cool technology … kind of freaks some people out. Some people hear ‘autonomous driving,’ and say ‘Oh my God, I never want to get into that vehicle. Other people say, ‘I don’t want my car talking to other cars. That’s terrible.’ We have to do this thoughtfully.”
Bill Ford told the audience at a conference in Detroit that he saw an accident in which a man who was texting while driving hit a tree. He then explained that some features will help avoid these situations, but that most automakers have said cars like Google’s driverless vehicle remain far off in the future.
“Right now, you have to have eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and it’s going to be that way for a while. Even as we start putting in a lot of these features that will assist you, the driver still has to be vigilant and in control,” Ford stated.
Bill Ford also argued that when the industry evolves to the point where Google’s planned technology is feasible, it will not look like a massive change as these new features will be added gradually over time.
By Gabriela Florea