Ford: Learning from experiments with driverless cars
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LAS VEGAS — The future of driverless cars was the background for a Ford Motor Co. keynote address on Tuesday at International CES. The carmaker hopes to cure the world’s transportation ills by delivering everything from a quicker trip down the Las Vegas Strip and helping drivers more easily find a parking spot, to improving access to medical services in remote areas of West Africa.
The gadget show opened to the public Tuesday.
Ford CEO Mark Fields said the company isn’t racing to have the first driverless car on roads, but is taking a thoughtful approach to creating an autonomous car for the masses. And with an eye on congested city hubs and a connected generation more keen on car-sharing, mass transit and cycling, the car maker is getting involved in those avenues, too.
Fields said Ford is conducting 25 worldwide experiments to study driver habits, test ride-sharing and research whether a person’s entire driving history could follow them from car to car regardless of brand in order to get personalized insurance quotes.
Want to try a Mustang for the weekend or need a truck for a move? The company’s employees in Michigan are testing an app-based program where they can trade cars among themselves.
“We’ll learn something from each of these experiments,” Fields said.