Ford’s Self-Driving Moves
In the last few weeks, Ford’s self-driving car program has made a number of exciting announcements. First, they announced a pilot self-driving car program throughout the entire city of Washington, D.C., to launch in 2019.
Shortly thereafter, Ford announced its purchase of electric scooter startup Spin. This appears to be another step in the direction of Ford as a mobility solutions provider, following its acquisition of the Chariot shuttle service and the launch of Ford GoBike bicycle rentals.
Next came an impressive series of self-driving car demos for journalists in Miami, Florida. Ford is currently testing self-driving cars in a six square-mile section of the city.
Most recently, Ford announced a partnership with Walmart and other retailers to deliver merchandise using self-driving cars.
In addition to its strategic moves, Ford seems to be improving its ability to communicate its vision for autonomous vehicles. Ford posts on Medium.com appear from Sherif Markaby, CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles, LLC, but also from team members in business development, marketing, and engineering.
Markaby recently posted a helpful infographic outlining the different components of the Ford autonomous vehicle ecosystem.
As former Ford engineer Sam Abuelsamid wrote for Forbes.com:
“Ford will not be first to the party. We all know that. But in cooperation with Argo, it is well on its way to creating what seems to be as good an AV system as any out there with smoother operation than much of what I’ve felt from several of its top competitors.”