Ford edge nearer driverless car with new autonomous tech 0

Ford plans to gradually introduce more driver assist technology to its models over the coming years ahead of the release of its first completely autonomous vehicle in 2021.

Speaking at the company’s Driving Skills For Life exhibition at the Excel centre in London, Lisa Brankin, marketing director of Ford of Britain, said a bit-by-bit adoption of autonomous technology would make sure Ford’s cars kept abreast of market demand.

“I don’t believe fully autonomous cars [that can drive from door-to-door without any input] will be on our roads in any big number for at least another decade,” she said. “When [fully autonomous technology] comes, it won’t come all at once; driverless cars won’t be everywhere straight away.”

Brankin went on to say that driverless systems, such as Active Park Assist and Lane Keep, would be slowly added to their models, before a model was released in 2021 featuring all autonomous features.

“At the moment driver assist systems and safety improving headlight technology are making their way onto more models,” she explained. “Each system will become available further down the range while the top cars will get more driver aids added, that’ll then trickle down.”

Brankin said that the company would continue to adopt this strategy, slowly adding Ford models further driverless functions. “With each iteration the technology gets better and better,” she added, suggesting a semi-autonomous model could arrive before the 2021 car.

In November, Ford revealed a new auto braking system that worked in conjunction with its reversing camera. Slated to hit the market within two years, the technology is programmed to brake thereby avoiding a collision when a driver is reversing.

The car manufacturer also stated that it’s currently developing evasive steering technology that can manoeuvre the car around hazards. These features, Brankin said, are evidence of the sure by steady progress the company is making towards full autonomy.

The brand’s first fully autonomous car, set to launch in 2021, will feature 3D mapping, LIDAR and radar and camera sensors. It’ll be released for the mass-market without a steering wheel or pedals.

Get your Ford service with Servicing Stop – the UK’s most convenient car service provider with FREE collection and delivery. Book now for anytime in the next six months!