Ford Motor will start testing its newest self-driving vehicle technology in 2018 in at least one city but has not altered its strategy to start industrial production until 2021, the company stated.
The automaker stated on Thursday that it would test self-driving models in numerous pilot programs with partners such as Lyft, the ride services business in which competitor General Motors owns a minority stake, and Domino’s Pizza Inc. However, Ford has still not decided if they will operate its own on-demand transport service.
In an online post, Jim Farley, president of global markets, stated Ford would test new business models as well that involve its self-driving vehicles, consisting of the movement of people and items.
GM unveiled plans recently to introduce its own on-demand ride-sharing service in numerous U.S. cities in 2019, using self-driving variations of the battery-powered Chevrolet Bolt.
Ford is moving production of a future battery electric automobile to Mexico to maximize capacity at its Flat Rock, Michigan, plant to build the self-driving vehicles in 2021, as per the representative Alan Hall.
The electric vehicle, whose more-advanced battery system will allow a driving range of over 300 miles, will enter into production in 2020 at Ford’s Cuatitlan plant, which providers say will also build a new hybrid crossover automobile around the exact same time.
At the Flat Rock plant, Ford is enhancing investment to $900 million from $700 million and adding 850 jobs.
Both the 2020 electric and the 2021 self-driving automobiles will draw on the next-generation Ford Focus for some of their underbody structure and parts while using various propulsion systems.
Unlike the totally electric car from Cuatitlan, the self-driving vehicle from Flat Rock will use a hybrid system with a gasoline engine and an electric motor, Hall stated.