Ford Motor is thinking about deploying self-driving vehicle technology in bigger industrial vehicles and is dealing with numerous partners to put its autonomous vehicles on the road, a senior Ford executive informed Reuters.
“We have been discussing with different partners in different markets” about possible applications for Ford’s first self-driving vehicle in 2021, consisting of ride-sharing and delivery services,” stated Sherif Marakby, vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrification at Ford.
Marakby recently returned to Ford from Uber Technologies, where he managed advancement of self-driving vehicles.
Ford President Jim Hackett, who took over in May, is leading an evaluation of the automaker’s strategy, and its investments in electric and self-driving vehicles.
The company is presently running Transit vans in an “on-demand” shuttle service called Chariot, which shows similarity with Uber Technologies’s ride-hailing service, and ultimately could equip those vehicles with self-driving systems.
Tesla Inc and some industrial truck makers are aiming to establish self-driving trucks. Ford does not make Class 8, long-haul semi trucks, however the company does develop light- and medium-duty F-series trucks and Transit vans that commercial consumers utilize to deliver products.
Ford on Tuesday stated it is teaming with Domino’s Pizza to test Michigan customers’ responses to having their meals delivered though self-driving vehicles.