Ford Wants To Launch A Fully Autonomous Car By 2021, It's For Ride-Sharing

Ford Fusion autonomous prototype 5 photos
Photo: Ford
Ford Fusion autonomous driving prototypeFord Fusion autonomous driving prototypeFord Fusion autonomous driving prototypeFord Fusion autonomous driving prototype
Ford has announced plans to launch a high-volume car by 2021, which will be capable of fully autonomous driving.
The Blue Oval has decided to invest and collaborate with four startups that focus on autonomous vehicle development, so that it can advance its driverless car technology. Furthermore, Ford has doubled its team in the Palo Alto campus, and the team is one that focuses on self-driving car technology.

Ford’s latest announcement targets the launch of a vehicle capable of SAE Level 4 autonomy, which implies the fact that a car will not require driver intervention to handle the tasks of driving.

While a human operator will be necessary to set the destination and just sit in the seat in front of the wheel, the car can handle all aspects of the dynamic driving task.

The fourth level of automation, according to the Society of Automotive Engineers, still allows for some driving modes, but the cars can drive themselves under any circumstances.

There is also a superior level, called Level Five, which involves a vehicle that can operate without a driver, just like Google’s self-driving car prototypes do. Those cars do not have a steering wheel, pedals, or any variety of driving controls because they do not need those tools.

Coming back to the Blue Oval’s investment, the Ford Motor Company has pledged to invest in Velodyne, SAIPS, Nirenberg Neuroscience, and Civil Maps. All of the four companies mentioned above are focused on 3D mapping, LIDAR, radar and camera sensors, and advanced algorithms.

Ford’s future self-driving vehicles will use all of the above technologies to deliver their passengers to the destination without any human driver required to perform conventional tasks.

The primary goal of those vehicles will be ride-sharing, a solution that will allow the Blue Oval to learn more about how customers will use these cars and think of ways to market them differently from conventional vehicles.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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