Ford has announced plans to develop a new line of fully autonomous self-driving cars specifically for Uber and Lyft-like ride-sharing and ride-hailing services.
The auto giant said it wants to launch the service, with a fully autonomous vehicle on the road by 2021. That means there’ll be no steering wheels, no gas pedals and no brake pedals. According to Ford drivers won’t be necessary.
Speaking at the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto, California, CEO Mark Fields said (via Engadget): “
“Today we’re no longer just an auto company, we’re also a mobility company.”
Ford will be looking to partner with existing ride-sharing firms, rather than launch its own, so deals with the likes of Lyft and Uber, who’re also looking into self-driving cars, may be on the cards.
Fields says Ford’s plans in this sector will have as big an impact on society as its moving assembly line did over 100 years ago.
The CEO says this is how Ford believes it can best impact the next 100 years by “changing the way the world moves again.”
Ford says it has now abandoned plans to develop bridge steps within its vehicles and is heading straight to fully-autonomous.
All of the newcomers in the space, be warned. The old guard is coming.