Study Shows Ford Leading Automakers In Driverless Vehicle Development


April 3, 2017

Automakers around the world are pushing to make autonomous vehicles a viable reality of the present, rather than just concepts for the future. One company, however, appears to be making greater strides than others.

A study released Monday by Navigant Research found that Ford leads all automakers in terms of showing the greatest potential to bring self-driving cars into everyday life, according to USA TODAY. The American automaker reportedly showed it has the vision and execution capabilities necessary to both develop and deploy autonomous technologies.

Closely trailing Ford was General Motors, followed by Renault-Nissan and Daimler, according to USA TODAY. Waymo — formerly Google car project — came in seventh, while Tesla was further down at 12th.

Although many in the automotive industry have targeted the early 2020s as a time when we could see ride-sharing autonomous fleets, private driverless-vehicle ownership has been viewed as something that could be much farther down the road.

But Ford is among the automakers who could change that.

“Many traditional (original equipment manufacturers) were initially skeptical about the commercial prospects for automated driving,” Navigant’s study says, via USA TODAY. “Most notable was Ford under its previous CEO Alan Mulally, who frequently spoke publicly about how people actually enjoy driving.

“However, through a combination of strategic investments and development of supporting business models, Ford and other OEMs have begun to move to the forefront.”

Uber, which among other recent turmoils recently had to suspend its driverless vehicle testing, ranked 16th in the study, as the tech company was docked points  for having neither good production strategy nor good technology. The study went on to say ride-hailing services, such as Uber, are less likely to get into the manufacturing business than manufacturers are to get into ride-sharing.

Thumbnail photo via Ford

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