Ford CEO, Mark Fields, sat down with Bloomberg to discuss plans to introduce a completely autonomous car by 2021. The only real problem we see with that plan is that it pretty much ensures their own demise. That said, they're pretty much doomed anyway so might as well go for it.
The company said it plans to have a fully autonomous vehicle -- no steering wheel, no gas or brake pedals -- available by 2021 for ride-hailing services.
“We see the autonomous car changing the way the world moves once again,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields said today at Ford’s research lab in Palo Alto, California. “They address a whole host of safety, social and environmental issues.”
Like Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Ford will skip the interim steps of driver-assisted technology as a way to evolve toward full autonomy. Its plan to deploy self-driving cars in ride-hailing and ride-sharing fleets is similar to what General Motors Co. aims to do with Lyft Inc. Ford’s 2021 scheduled start matches BMW’s ambitious timeframe.
“We believe in our plan that taking the driver out of the loop is really important,” Fields said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. The automaker couldn’t find a sensible way through the “no-man’s land” -- determining exactly when a robotic car should to try to re-engage a human driver in an emergency.
So what do we mean when we say an autonomous car pretty much ensures Ford's demise? To be clear, we're not specifically targeting Ford...the whole auto industry is in serious trouble when truly autonomous driving arrives. Below is a little math to help illustrate the point.