Ford Driverless Cars On The Road by 2021, Helped By Velodyne, SAIPS

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Ford Driverless Cars Timetable

Super Investing

Ford Motor Co. is on a mission for another ambitious venture as it announced its plans to develop autonomous vehicles – self-driving cars – by 2021. Ford’s driverless cars are the first planned for production line output.

The driverless vehicles will be use in a ride-hailing or ride-sharing service. The vehicles will be created with specific design for commercial mobility services and built in high volumes.

What is expected from the autonomous vehicles?

Ford’s CEO Mark Fields said the automaker promises to have a fleet of hundreds of fully-autonomous cars in service in five years. This announcement was made at an event in Silicon Valley that was broadcast online.

The autonomous cars come with interesting specs. Aside from the fact it is self-driving, there’s going to be no steering wheel, gas pedal or brake pedal.

Five years from now, Ford will be making history for offering the world’s first series production of fully autonomous vehicles.

How to Accomplish the Plan?

Ford has set an eye on investing in Velodyne, a company that makes lidar sensors used to detect objects around a vehicle and Civil Maps. It develops a more efficient 3-D mapping technology.

The Automotive News says Ford is investing $75 million into Velodyne.

In addition, the automaker Ford said it has acquired an Israel-based company called SAIPS. The company is prominent in helping vehicles learn and adapt to their surroundings.

Aside from that, Ford has struck a deal with an exclusive licensing agreement with a machine vision company the “Nirenberg Neuroscience.”

Ford Driverless Cars discussed by Ford CEO, Mark Fields.
Mark Fields, Ford CEO, discusses the autonomous vehicle program. Photo: Bloomberg video screenshot.

Ford to Boost its Manpower

With the goal to come up with the mass production of autonomous cars by 2021, Ford announced that it will boost its workforce in Silicon Valley to 260 people by the end of next year. Office space is expected to expand as well. In fact, Ford is set to expand its working area from one 30,000-square-foot building to three buildings totaling 180,000 square feet.

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