On August 16th, Ford laid out plans stating that by 2021 they will mass produce fully autonomous self-driving cars, without steering wheels. Company President Mark Fields made the announcement at an event in California; he also stated that Ford will be doubling their investments into research centres within California, as well as pumping significant sums of money into technology companies within the autonomous industry.
In what was perhaps the most surprising news of the day, Mr. Fields stated that the intentions of Ford will be to introduce an ‘Uber-like’ service, implying that Ford will be going into the markets of car sharing and mobility services as well. Mr. Fields stated “There will be a growing per cent of the industry that will be fully autonomous vehicles,” and that "Our goal is not only to be an auto company, but an auto and mobility company.”.
In contrast to what was anticipated by a number of people attending the event, there was no mention of American giants Apple or Google, who it had been predicted Ford would work with on this project, conceivably suggesting they have opted to go it alone. Google are still the big game players in terms of autonomous motors vehicle, their cars have been on the road for several years now allowing for Google to perform a number of ‘trial and error’ tests.
Ford, like Google, will be making their cars for level 4 autonomy, meaning it will be fully autonomous in city surroundings, level 5 which means they can be self-driving in any conditions is what all companies are aiming for but laws are at the moment preventing this.
So Ford, will we see your cars in 2021? The current speed of advancement in renewable energy based industries is frightening with governments and businesses working together, for a change. All the same,