Jim Farley, Executive Vice President, and President, Global Markets, Ford Motors through a blog on Medium has shared some insights related to self-driving cars being developed by the company. Farley in the blog has said that the customer has been at the at the center of the company’s thinking and Ford is designing an all-new vehicle optimized for self-driving technology and the customers it will serve.
Farley writes that the self-driving vehicle is designed by the company around four core aspects:
- Commercial Grade: The company aims to leverage its experience in building vehicles that serve taxi, police and other heavy-duty service fleets. The company will be designing self-driving vehicle that will have upgraded components such as brakes, wheels and body structures that can withstand more extreme work cycles, and that it will undergo more rigid durability testing before it goes on the road i.e. focusing on the lower cost of ownership and durability.
- Hybrid-Electric: The company will be developing hybrid vehicles, including engineering them for use in commercial operations such as taxi fleets.
- Designed for Purpose: The company is doing customer research to understand our ride-hailing and delivery partners’ needs, so to design both interior and exterior features that will improve their business operations and the customer experience.
- Integrated for Safety: The company is engineering, testing and ultimately building self-driving vehicles as an integrated product that is developed to be safe, reliable and dependable from the outset.
Farley has also informed that from next year the company will begin to test both its self-driving technology and business model in a variety of pilot programs.