The race for the development of autonomous car began some months ago, but now when we begin to know the real plans of manufacturers with active developments in this field. Here we highlight the case of Google, Tesla, GM Lyft, BMW, Uber and even rumors of Apple; but today we talk about Ford who finally will have one year its first commercial autonomous car: 2021.
Today during a conference at the Center for Research and Innovation Ford in Palo Alto, California, Mark Fields, CEO of the company, he came to confirm that in five years we will know its first fully autonomous commercial car, which will be without steering wheel or pedals, something that has surprised everyone.
“We’re not just a car company, also we are a company mobility”
As we have seen, Ford has remained fairly active for several years with projects of autonomous driving, which took us to meet the 2014 Ford Fusion autonomous which has been under testing MCity, the fictional town created to test autonomous cars; this has meant that Ford is launching several alternative projects based on their developments and research, as the case of autonomous cars at MIT.
The autonomous car will arrive in 2021 will be an SAE 4 (automation level) level, i.e. will have no steering wheel or brake pedal or accelerator, your goal will be to integrate a fleet of shared vehicles that will provide commercial services for mobility, which seeks to be available on a large scale.
Testing continues and investments also
Meanwhile, this year Ford aims to triple its fleet of autonomous test cars, which aims to be the largest of any manufacturer, as they think close 2016 with 30 Ford autonomous hybrid Fusion that will travel the roads of California, Arizona and Michigan, with view to close 2017 with 90 cars.
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This includes new investments in companies that have driven the development of autonomous driving systems, such as the case of Velodyne, responsible for manufacturing company LIDAR sensors; SAIPS the acquisition of Israeli company developing computer vision software and machine learning; an agreement with Nuremberg Neuroscience, technology developers ‘virtual retina’, and an investment in the company previously announced 3D mapping Civil Maps.
In addition to this, Ford is expanding its presence in Silicon Valley with the creation of a new campus with two new buildings and 14,000 square meters, which aims to be opened in 2017.
With this, the race for autonomous cars gets interesting, where curious is that many point to the year 2021, year in which most of the companies want to go out with their first vehicles of autonomous driving. We have to wait five years to see what happens.