Ford expects to extensively produce self driving car for driverless taxi services by 2021.
The self-driving Ford gets no steering wheel, accelerator, and brake. The car is also specifically designed for taxis that would be driving around without a driver. Ford expects to dominate the taxi market in the next decade.
“Deploying these vehicles through ride-hailing, ride-sharing, or dynamic shuttles gets you the best availability and significantly improves the affordability of those services,”
Raj Nair, Ford’s chief technology officer said.
“And as we get the volumes up, the economics of scale and the advancements of the technology will probably bring the cost down.”
To achieve its goal, the company is expanding its presence in tech center Silicon Valley sharply, including through the construction of its own campus in Palo Alto. The number of staff will double next year. Furthermore, it will be investing in start-ups that could help Ford to acquire the necessary technology.
Lyft & Uber
Lyft taxi company has also been planning to get the taxi driver out of the game for a while. Together with General Motors, the company started a project for self-driving taxis earlier this year. Uber also launched its own project last year. However, with which company Ford will work is not known.