In the next five years, you may no longer need an Uber to take you to the airport; you’ll just need a Ford creation instead.
This past Tuesday, Ford’s CEO Mark Fields announced that, by 2021, Ford aims to have a fully driverless car on the road for ride-hailing and ride-sharing services. Unlike companies such as Tesla and Mercedes-Benz, Ford is on route to produce fully autonomous vehicles rather than just gradually add autonomous features to existing cars. Raj Nair, Ford’s chief technical officer, explains that semi-autonomous vehicles can be dangerous for drivers who might not understand or be prepared for moments when they have to re-take the wheel. Removing the driver mitigates this problem.
How will other automotive companies react to this new competitor? Will they accelerate their own autonomous programs in order to keep up to speed with Ford?