Ford Boss Thinks 2020 Will See The Launch Of Several Fully Autonomous Cars
|   Friday, January 30, 2015
Mark Fields, Ford's CEO, estimates that autonomous cars, able to drive without driver intervention, will go into the series version and on public roads in 2020. The head of the US company said this in an interview with journalists present at CES 2015, the first major event of this year's of the IT world.

Although Fields admitted that those at Ford do not intend to be among the pioneers of autonomous vehicles, he recognizes that this category of vehicles is an opportunity for the brand that he manages.
Those at Ford have already tested autonomous cars on the United States roads. However, the models always have a driver at the steering wheel to intervene in situations that leading car computers were not yet ready to handle.

Over the next five years, this will not be a necessity, Ford's boss estimates. At that time at least one company will launch an autonomous car, Mark Fields estimates. Most likely, one of the pioneers of this technology will include the German premium manufacturers such as Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz, but other American or Japanese brands are not excluded in this competition.

Volvo are themselves preparing autonomous driving technology, therefore, a model which has a 100 percent autonomous driving mode should not be excluded from the Swedish brand.

Ford's CEO says that his subordinates are currently preparing the way for driver assistance technologies that make driving safer, simpler and easier for each model on offer.

The automatic parking systems, lane keeping assist, and automatic braking systems in case of imminent accident, Ford intends to introduce all these features at affordable prices including on the cheaper models on offer in an attempt to "democratize" all of the aforementioned technologies.

Currently, the American manufacturer already has these systems on many models on offer, but Fields' statement does nothing but emphasize the intention of using that technology on several other models in its portfolio.

"You can go into a dealership and get a Ford Focus that can park itself right now. If you want to go to the full extreme -- full autonomy -- literally a vehicle that has no steering wheel and has no pedals, that's a tremendous technical challenge, but one that we believe that in the next five years will be possible. The technology's capability of being better than any one of us as an individual driver is definitely on the horizon. It's not a matter of if, but when." said Raj Nair, Ford's product development chief, concerning the carmaker's compact model which is priced at 16,810 dollars.

If Ford's prediction comes true, then consumers will be able to buy a car without a steering wheel or brake pedals that will operate in auto-pilot mode, drives more efficiently and cut down traffic jams, all of which seem like a dream come true right now.

According to the Consumer Electronics Association, before that happens carmakers will transfer 11.3 billion dollars in investments to upgrade plants for the components used in such cars.
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