Ford Details Its Approach To Self-Driving Cars: 'Not For Everyone'

While numerous companies are developing autonomous vehicles in one form or another, Ford has just stepped up to detail its own approach to self-driving cars.

Ford delivered a 44-page self-driving safety report titled “A Matter of Trust” to the U.S. Department of Transportation along with a letter from Sherif Marakby, CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles.

The report suggests that the central challenge in developing self-driving cars is not the technology but rather the trust in safety, reliability and experience enabled by the technology.

Ford sees a future with people and packages moving faster and more affordably in self-driving vehicles, but not necessarily in cars owned by individuals.

“Our self-driving vehicles won’t initially be sold to customers in the way that cars are today,” states the report, suggesting that consumers will more likely experience autonomous vehicles in commercial fleets, ride-hailing services and goods delivery.

Ford’s goal is to begin manufacturing a purpose-built self-driving vehicle in three years. Meanwhile, additional driver-assist technology, such as lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control, will continue to be further developed and deployed.

The automaker also seems realistic about the prospects of masses of consumers jumping on board the idea of replacing their current driving habits with those that are totally automated, with the report noting that self-driving vehicles may not be for everybody and the company is fine with that.

The report also smartly and candidly deals with the Arizona pedestrian fatality involving an Uber vehicle running in fully autonomous mode. Ford’s on-road testing includes two-person teams, one behind the wheel watching the road and the other monitoring the autonomous system on a laptop.

The smarter approaches to self-driving vehicles are focusing on using the vehicles to deliver things rather than becoming an item to be sold to consumers. For example, Ford has been working with Domino’s Pizza to determine what happens at the actual pizza-to-customer delivery moment, since there obviously is no person in the self-driving car to carry the pizza to the front door and ring the bell.

Self-driving vehicles are going to cause many transformations in consumer behaviors for some of the systems to succeed. In that context, the technology will be the relatively easy part.

8 comments about "Ford Details Its Approach To Self-Driving Cars: 'Not For Everyone'".
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  1. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , August 20, 2018 at 6:24 p.m.

    All that Money and technology to put a pimple faced high schooler from making some money delivering pizzas ?????  "Fly-Over " America wants nothing to with this.  Cities with 30,000 people living on 4 corners think this is the answer.  But whether it's a pizza-bot car or Jimmy's 2002 Hyundai Accent, it will still be on the streets.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, August 20, 2018 at 7:50 p.m.

    Lots of technology looking for a market, Mark.

  3. john malkowich, August 20, 2018 at 9:50 p.m.


    Self-driving cars are delusional tech optimism rooted in greed, sorry

  4. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, August 21, 2018 at 7:07 a.m.

    Getting drivers to trust the self-driving cars are safer is not as important as convincing the insurance companies. Once they fall in line, it's a march to premium rates for the non-adopters. It will take a while but so, too, did seat belts.

  5. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , August 21, 2018 at 9:10 p.m.

    John...........Right on!!!   Doug.....Sealt belts were an obvious physical benifit to safe driving.  You can't convince me that it's going to be fine to turn over  your 4000 pound  vehicle to a cluster of plastic circuit boards, depending on millions of bits of information per second, and are old technology the instant it pulls of the  car-bot lot.  This is also the wet dream of hackers.  You can't keep a Sirius signal  in your car, and they think  the cars will stay connected??  Dumbest idea of the 21st Century, and the tech-nerds don't have enough common sense to play out the scenarios.  You be the first to go driverless on I-5 , in 10 lanes of traffic in downtown LA..........good luck.  I hope the $15 plastic sensors pick up the couch in the road, the ladders, lazyboys, spare tires etc.     AND my ultimate fallback, NO ONE EVER TELLS YOU HOW MUCH IT ADDS TO THE PRICE OF A CAR.  There is already a lawfirm in Conn that wants people who have been in an accident with autonomous cars.

  6. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, August 21, 2018 at 9:48 p.m.

    It's the trasition period that will be a bit complex, Douglas.

  7. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, August 22, 2018 at 9:49 a.m.

    Guess time will tell, John.

  8. Tony Quart from Bizousoft, August 26, 2018 at 11:22 p.m.

    I just read an article that talks about this topic at few hours ago. I personally think that these cars haven't ready to be operated on public roads yet. For now, there are still so many flaws that need to be fixed by the automakers and also law regulators. Until it reaches 99%, I personally will not try one of these cars.

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