The car-maker Ford has said that it will have fully autonomous, self-driving cars in mass production in 2021. The main focus of Ford with these cars is to offer an Uber-like service, rather than selling the vehicles directly to customers. Ford's CEO, Mark Fields, also said that the autonomous vehicle would address safety, social, and environmental issues.
Speaking at an event, Fields said:
“Ford will be mass producing vehicles, with full autonomy within five years and that means there will be no steering wheel, no gas pedals, and no break pedals... a driver is not going to be required.”
The target is certainly an ambitious one. In order to reach its goals, Ford will be doubling its investment in its research centre in Palo Alto, California, and make sizable investments in tech companies in the autonomy industry.
The car maker has been working on its autonomous efforts for a while now; last December it got a permit from the Californian DMV to test an autonomous Ford Fusion on Californian roads. Later that month, there was speculation that Ford and Google would work together in the pursuit of a self-driving car, combining Google's software ability with Ford's car manufacturing expertise. Finally, in January more of the company's efforts became public with Ford teaching its self-driving cars how to handle snow and blizzards.
Source: BBC News | Image via Ford