Ford: driverless car, second mobility revolution

This is the opinion of none other than Bill Ford, executive chairman of the homonymous carmaker, which by 2021 intends to mass produce cars without driver. He says: “We are at the dawn of a new era of individual mobility”

Published on 18 Oct 2016

Bill Ford, grandson of Henry Ford that which gave birth to the automaker that brought the cars in the life of the average American, has not only inherited an empire from his grandfather, but also an innovative business vision.

Ecologically correct, increasingly driven by concerns about the impact of vehicles on the environment and in the cities, there is, in this regard, a beautiful Ted Talk of his, Ford has great confidence in the future of the driverless car, indeed he believes that it is a historic transition in which “his” Ford can play an equally important role than that of his legendary ancestor.

«We are on the verge of a second revolution of individual mobility, my grandfather made the first, helping to change the movement. Now we are dealing with an even more important change that affects not only the way we move, but also overturn all forms of transportation, all that must take place in a very short time» Corriere della Sera wrote.

Ford apparently has developed in recent years, independently, its driverless car, which intends to mass-produce by 2021, in a version with an electric engine. In its research center in Palo Alto, Silicon Valley, Ford has already invested more than $ 4.3 billion to accelerate the development of all technologies dedicated to driverless car and by the end of 2017 the team of engineers and scientists will double, rising from 130 to 260. But that’s not all. If until recently, the automaker has worked almost in secret, now it does not rule out future collaborations with tech company like Apple and Google, having already started to collaborate with the Chinese Baidu (that is producing its driverless car), and together have acquired Velodyne, a company specialized in sensors; it has also acquired the Israeli Saips that deals with artificial intelligence; in general, it relies heavily on cooperation with the startup.

Thus, it teams up with accelerators such as Techstar to find innovative new companies on which to bet and aquires startups like Chariot, on-demand shuttle service based in San Francisco, which allows it to step into the field of ride sharing.

Ford wants to switch from car company to mobility company, and quickly. On the other hand it does not seem to be alone: GM has invested $ 500 million in Lyft, another car sharing service; Volkswagen has invested 300 million in Israeli startups Gett, againg car sharing; Toyota is working with Uber.

Besides, if in the second mobility revolution, the tech companies can become auto manufacturers, such as Google Car and Apple Car (that recently has given signs of a change in strategy), why should not car manufacturers become similar to tech companies and deliver the services in which the basis is always the core business, namely a car?

To learn more read the article of EconomyUp “Which car we will drive over the next 20 years?”

In the video below, the results of Ford with its driverless car

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