Coming in 2021: a Ford Without Pedals

Fully autonomous vehicle will be used for ride-sharing
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2016 8:24 AM CDT
Coming in 2021: a Ford Without Pedals
A Ford Fusion hybrid outfitted with radars, laser scanners, and cameras drives along the streets of Pittsburgh.   (Uber via AP)

A car without pedals or even a steering wheel? The curious and the brave need wait only five years, apparently. Ford announced Tuesday that it will release a fully autonomous vehicle in 2021 that needs no input from the driver. In fact, it needs no driver at all. The car will instead rely on a high-definition map to get around, reports Mashable. While that means driving will be impossible in areas where high-definition mapping isn't available, Ford says the cars will initially be used for ride-sharing in predetermined areas, so consumers can get comfortable with them before they're made widely available at a later date, reports the Los Angeles Times. It's not clear if that will mean partnerships with companies such as Uber and Lyft.

"The next decade will be defined by the automation of the automobile, and we see autonomous vehicles as having as significant an impact on society as Ford's moving assembly line did 100 years ago," says CEO Mark Fields. Volvo and BMW have also set 2021 as a target date for their own self-driving cars. To help get its project in motion, Ford says it has acquired artificial intelligence company SAIPS and is investing in 3D mapping companies. Ford—which expects to have 30 self-driving Fusion Hybrids on US roads by the end of the year—will also expand its Palo Alto research facility and double the number of its engineers and scientists, per the Detroit Free Press. (More cars stories.)

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