Automakers around the world are working hard to develop the technology needed to make life easier and more connected than ever. The focus of the future is in providing self-driving vehicles that can be used for a variety of purposes when taken out on the road. Many automakers have chosen proving grounds and testing areas in California, Arizona, and even Michigan, but one has decided the right place to launch its services and test its vehicles in Miami, FL. The team that chose this busy city as the place to test is Ford.
Ford has launched a self-driving car testing program in Miami and has done so in a partnership with Domino’s to provide a new way to deliver pizza to customers that place their order. Currently, the pilot program is designed to gather research data and help ford build the right self-driving vehicles for the future of the market which it plans to launch in 2021 (and may be added to vehicles such as the Ford Escape or Ford Fusion, although nothing is confirmed yet). Right now, you could have a pizza brought to you that you need to walk out to the car and type in a code on the side of the vehicle to have access to the warming oven that has kept your dinner warm during the drive.
Where is Ford Taking this Program
While the goal is to have a widespread use of self-driving vehicles in Miami and other areas around the country by 2021, the data needs to be collected and used first. Ford is ready to launch a similar program with Postmates in March to help gather more information regarding how these vehicles can function and provide the ride and the services we enjoy. The vehicles that are on the streets of Miami make use of the Argo AI technology to map the roads and gather information regarding the specifics of the area they are working in.
Based on this testing program and the programs from other automakers around the country, it appears every area will have to be mapped out and data collected in order to learn more about how to drive in each location. Once self-driving cars are offered in greater numbers, it’s possible these cars will continue to collect, analyze and make use of the information gathered to communicate with other cars on the roads in the area to ensure all vehicles that are self-driving can be informed regarding traffic changes, construction, and different aspects of the area.
The Ford program offered in Miami is a partnership that can bring in a stream of income while learning more about the roads and the drive. We seem to be years away from these vehicles being offered for personal use and ownership, but ride-sharing programs are already being created in some areas and will be the next logical step for Ford as well. It appears Ford may be capable of making good on their goal to have these vehicles offered without a steering wheel or pedals by 2021 if all goes well during these testing and pilot programs.
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