The race to bring self-driving cars to market is probably the biggest competition happening within the auto industry right now. While skeptics are quick to point out that many of the rosiest predictions for self-driving cars and when they would be available haven’t come true, that doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been progress, with multiple companies working with and against each other to bring their particular vision for driverless cars to life.
As a recent report noted, one company, in particular, is well ahead of the competition in terms of making the dream of self-driving cars a reality: Ford. In fact, the company is so sure of its progress, it has announced that it should have self-driving cars operating a ride-sharing service by 2021.
Ford Beats the Competition
A recent independent report by Navigant took a look at the many different companies developing autonomous cars—from big name auto manufacturers like GM and Volkswagen to Silicon Valley upstarts like Tesla—and found that, of all them, Ford was the top manufacturer of self-driving vehicles.
Navigant rated companies’ self-driving car progress according to ten different criteria, including:
- Go-to-market strategy
- Production strategy
- Product capability
- Staying power
There are a number of reasons why Ford has been able to overtake the competition in this area. For the last several years, the company has put renewed focus on developing new technology for its vehicles.
Additionally, Ford is developing its autonomous vehicle technology with Argo AI, a startup founded and run by veterans of Google/Alphabet and Uber’s self-driving car initiatives. Argo has also taken a pro-employee approach to its development, offering equity stakes and other benefits to employees, which has helped attract and retain top talent for their joint project with Ford.
Ford Autonomous Vehicles Available in 2021 … with a Catch
Obviously, Ford has reason to feel bullish about its self-driving cars. So confident is the company feeling, in fact, that it has reaffirmed its previously given date for public release of its autonomous vehicles for 2021 … in a limited fashion.
Starting in 2021, Ford plans to have self-driving cars on public roads as part of a ride-sharing service. While the company does plan to make its vehicles available to private buyers, as of now the company will only say that they should become available five to ten years after the ride-sharing program begins.
Obviously, our Ford dealership Indianapolis is very excited about Ford’s self-driving car initiative, as we are with all of the new and exciting vehicles the company is hard at work producing. For more information about Ford vehicles or to schedule a test drive, contact us today at 317-831-2750.