Ford might quickly deploy self-driving vehicles in Austin, in keeping with a brand new report. The Texas capital would be a part of cities like Detroit, Miami, Pittsburgh, and Washington D.C. as a testing location for Ford, which plans to launch a manufacturing autonomous automobile in 2021.
The information was first reported by TechCrunch, which cited an nameless supply acquainted with the matter, in addition to an Austin job itemizing for an autonomous-vehicle "market specialist." When requested by the web site about Ford's plans, a spokesperson would solely say that the automaker is "on monitor to announce the subsequent deployment metropolis" and that extra particulars can be launched "on the applicable time."
Ford has taken a extra pragmatic method to deploying self-driving vehicles than rival corporations. Whereas others focus totally on the autos themselves, Ford is making an attempt to develop every thing wanted to make autonomous vehicles right into a worthwhile enterprise.
Quite than being offered to particular person patrons, Ford's manufacturing self-driving automobile shall be utilized in ride-hailing and supply providers. Different corporations are planning comparable makes use of; Waymo is already working a ride-hailing service in Arizona. However Ford is wanting on the extra mundane issues, from managing and sustaining a big fleet of autos to interacting with prospects, wanted to launch such providers.
The Blue Oval has cast partnerships with Domino's, Postmates, and Walmart to check supply providers. It has even deployed faux autonomous vehicles to see how prospects react to a supply service that takes people out of the loop. In Miami, Ford constructed a devoted autonomous-vehicle terminal that might function a prototype for different services if self-driving vehicles do change into mainstream.
If Ford deploys self-driving vehicles in Austin, it can doubtless observe the same sample to the cities the place the take a look at program already operates. Which means utilizing prototype autonomous vehicles in pilot supply providers, and having startup Argo AI map native roads to make sure smoother operations.
Ford faces loads of competitors from tech corporations and different automakers, together with its previous rival Basic Motors. GM's Cruise autonomous-driving division is trying to double its employees and can quickly launch a supply pilot program with DoorDash.