Sunday, July 14

Ford Expands Self-driving Vehicle Program to Washington, D.C.

The automobile major Ford is reportedly coming up with its autonomous vehicles in Washington, D.C. which would become the fourth city to join the automaker’s testing program.

The company is preparing to roll out a self-driving taxi and delivery service in 2021. It will start testing its self-driving vehicles in the district in the first quarter of 2019 which it is already testing in Detroit, Pittsburgh and Miami.

Ford is a bit different from other companies that have launched autonomous vehicle pilots in the U.S. The company invested $1 billion in Argo AI which would be developing the virtual driver system and high-definition maps designed for Ford’s self-driving vehicles.

In the meantime, the automobile maker is testing its go-to-market strategy through pilot programs with partners like Domino’s and Postmates, and also some local businesses.

“Both Ford and district officials are committed to exploring how self-driving vehicles can be deployed in an equitable way across the various neighborhoods that make up Washington, D.C., and in a way that promotes job creation,” Sherif Marakby,  CEO, Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC stated.

The company mentioned that Argo AI already has vehicles on DC’s streets, mapping roads in the first step toward testing in autonomous mode.