Not long ago we told you of the US automaker’s plans for the driverless sector, which include a fully self-driving vehicle revealed as part of a car-sharing program by 2021. It now turns out the company also wants them to reach private consumers by 2025.
It’s still unknown if the driverless car will be the same in both cases but it seems the second largest US automaker has carefully considered the options and decided to dive in the newly created auto industry segment. The driver would be out of the picture entirely – just like in Google’s case – and the models would reach the Level 4 of autonomy as described by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), with no pedal and steering wheel. “We believe the next decade will be defined by the development of autonomous vehicles,” commented Ford CEO Mark Fields recently during a conference on future trends.
The executive believes the cost of driverless systems will go down in time just like it happened with smartphone, thus becoming readily available for almost anyone who can afford a car. Ford wants to put autonomous vehicles on the road for millions of people, not just those who can afford a luxury vehicle,” further commented Fields. For now, the main challenges include the technology itself, but also regulatory problems, economic hurdles and public acceptance levels.