The world of self driving cars is all set to be shaken up with the recent announcement from car making giant Ford Motors, who plan to roll out self driving cars by 2021. According to the announcement made yesterday, Ford Motors are going to make those cars available to ride hailing companies who operate in different geographies across the world. The company released the announcement in its website, "Ford today announces its intent to have a high-volume, fully autonomous SAE level 4-capable vehicle in commercial operation in 2021 in a ride-hailing or ride-sharing service. To get there, the company is investing in or collaborating with four startups to enhance its autonomous vehicle development, doubling its Silicon Valley team and more than doubling its Palo Alto campus.
"The next decade will be defined by automation of the automobile, and we see autonomous vehicles as having as significant an impact on society as Ford's moving assembly line did 100 years ago," said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. "We're dedicated to putting on the road an autonomous vehicle that can improve safety and solve social and environmental challenges for millions of people - not just those who can afford luxury vehicles."
Autonomous vehicles in 2021 are part of Ford Smart Mobility, the company's plan to be a leader in autonomous vehicles, as well as in connectivity, mobility, the customer experience, and data and analytics."
A report on ComputerWorld stated, "Ford is planning to add two new buildings and 150,000 square feet of work and lab space adjacent to the current Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto, doubling the size of the research team by the end of 2017. Currently, the facility has 130 researchers, engineers and scientists." The report went on to state, "What Ford will not be producing by 2021 is a fully autonomous vehicle for consumers, according to Nair [Ford CTO Raj Nair]. That will come several years after the 2021 release of an autonomous ride-sharing fleet because the "economics don't make sense" and the company has yet to determine how to hand control of a vehicle back to a driver safely."