reader remarks NAIAS 2017 View more stories DETROIT-- Among the house group, Ford had a few things to announce at this year's North American International Auto Show. Its best-seller, the F-150 truck, got a mid-life refresh, and the company announced that it's finally reintroducing the smaller sized Ranger truck to the US in a number of years. The Bronco SUV will be reborn, too, a year after that.
Some of the more fascinating advancements at the Blue Oval have been underway for a while now, as the business grows beyond vehicle making into that ever-present buzzword, "mobility." Ford is working on self-driving technology, a range of plug-in hybrid and battery electrical cars, and ride-hailing services. It's even found time to make a Le Mans-winning supercar. We sat down with Raj Nair, Ford's Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Vice President, Item Advancement, to learn a bit more about those various programs and how Ford's organisation is altering:
Interest in cars-- especially amongst that essential demographic, the young-- just isn't really exactly what it utilized to be. More of us are living in denser urban cores, which are much better matched to modes of transportation other than the individual automobile. Traffic keeps growing, triggering Expense Ford make it the subject of his TED talk. Climate change isn't really disappearing. "The time is best for brand-new solutions," Nair informed us.
Ford prepares to bring an autonomous vehicle to mass production by 2021. It won't be for sale in showrooms; rather, it will be a fleet operated by Ford, transporting paying clients (and probably freight) around distinct geofenced areas.
The company has likewise stated it's not going to pursue the intermediate level 3 phase of self-driving cars, in which the human might be in control during some parts of a journey while control is handed back and forth. Rather, Ford desires to avoid straight to self-governing pods that don't have a guiding wheel or pedals at all. Nair explained the choice boiled down to the issue of situational awareness.
Envision the following scenario: your self-governing car is about to reach a geofenced border, beyond which it doesn't have a sufficient map to continue driving itself. It needs you, the motorist, to take the wheel. How does it understand whether or not you're paying adequate attention to take over? "You could add technologies to make sure [chauffeurs] were mindful," Nair discussed, however including costly chauffeur tracking systems on top of expensive autonomous driving systems does not make service sense.