Ford Wants To Offer Autonomous Car Service For Its Employees In 2018

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Ford wants to have its employees ride in autonomous cars in 2018. The project will be active at the Blue Oval’s campus in Dearborn, Michigan.
The latest plan by Ford follows the automaker’s plan of launching a fully autonomous car on the market by 2021. Until then, the company has to make its prototypes drive millions of miles without human intervention, so its campus in Dearborn has been selected as the best place to test the driverless car technology developed by the corporation.

Evidently, Ford wants to protect its technology from curious eyes, so only employees will have access to the driverless car service that will be made available in Dearborn.

The fully autonomous vehicle prototypes that will be used in this project will not be connected to the local infrastructure. This means that the Blue Oval will not have the car “know” when traffic lights are red or green, and no roadside sensors will send data to the vehicle.

Furthermore, any other infrastructure elements will not communicate with the cars more than they would have with a human driver. In other words, Ford will let its self-driving prototypes take care of themselves in its Dearborn campus.

These vehicles will probably never exit the area of the facility, as they are meant to take employees from one building to another. Most likely, the cars will be hailed using an app, which will have restricted access.

This is not the first time when Ford says it wants to offer a self-driving car service for its employees, but we now have a timeline of the plan.

The knowledge gained from this project will be implemented into Ford’s next initiative, which involves offering a high-volume self-driving shuttle service in 2021. The latter will be available to the public, which means that it will have to operate flawlessly.

According to Michael Martinez, the Detroit News reporter that was invited to a workshop, the prototypes tested by Ford were more cautious than human drivers.

For example, the vehicles stopped at every stop sign, as the law dictates, as well as being more careful when they had to give way to pedestrians or other vehicles. This does not sound bad at all, since obeying the law will be the way people will be sure to trust driverless cars.
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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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