New report outlines Ford’s thinking on autonomous vehicles

20 August 2018

20 August 2018

Ford has launched a new document highlighting the manufacturer’s approach to autonomous vehicle technology.

The 44-page report, titled ′A matter of trust’ outlines Ford’s plans in pursuit of new mobility solutions, including self-driving vehicles. It acts as a Voluntary Safety Self-Assessment and sets out how the company is working closely with industry and government partners to apply technology to solve the challenges in urban areas.

Sherif Marakby, CEO, Ford Autonomous Vehicles, said in a letter to US authorities: ′As Ford pursues its goal of developing a self-driving vehicle for deployment at scale in 2021, we believe that ensuring people trust the safety, reliability and the experience that our vehicles will enable is paramount. We’ve spent more than a century earning consumer trust by designing and building safe, quality vehicles, and we’re committed to preserving that trust in a future of self-driving vehicles.’

The report maps out the future of self-driving vehicles as well as answering frequently asked questions about the technology. It also states the benefits that such systems will offer to towns and cities globally and discusses how computers need to match the processing speed of the human brain in order to use the road safely.

In July, Ford created Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, a new organisation charged with accelerating its AV business to capitalise on market opportunities. The company also detailed key organisational changes designed to improve its operational fitness and drive profitable growth.

The company is organising its self-driving business into Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, which will include Ford’s self-driving systems integration, autonomous vehicle research and advanced engineering, AV transportation-as-a-service network development, user experience, business strategy and business development teams. The new LLC, which is structured to take on third-party investment, will be primarily based at Ford’s Corktown campus in Detroit and will hold Ford’s ownership stake in Argo AI, the company’s Pittsburgh-based partner for self-driving system development. Ford expects to invest $4 billion (€3.5 billion) in its AV efforts through 2023, including its $1 billion (€875 million) investment in Argo AI.

During April, the US-based manufacturer said it is planning to develop its own autonomous car-sharing service, aiming to launch it in 2021 to transport both people and goods in cities around the globe.

The company wants to create its vehicles and service in-house, rather than sell its technology to an existing ride-hailing business, which Volvo has done with Uber, and Jaguar Land Rover is doing with Waymo.

The carmaker plans to deliver goods as well as passengers as part of its scheme; it is already trialling a service with Domino’s Pizza, offering incentives for consumers to leave their premises and walk to a human-free delivery car.