Ford jumps in the race to develop self-driving cars

Ford is amping up its research into autonomous technologies in the hopes of creating a self-driving car. The company is a bit of a late-comer to the emerging market of autonomous vehicles. Auto industry competitors such as Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz are already well on their way past proof-of-concept. (We even took a spin in the autonomous Mercedes F 015!) Tech industry giants like Google and newcomer, Uber, already have prototypes on the road.

Ford is showing its dedication to developing automated response systems and, recently, opened its very own center for research and innovation in Palo Alto, California.

According to Ford's global product development chief, Raj Nair, "During the next five years, we will move to migrate driver-assist technologies across our product lineup (and) continue to increase automated driving capability."

One of Ford's European models, the Mondeo, already features automatic braking and pedestrian detection. Those features are slated to debut on one of Ford's American releases next year, but Ford has yet to name the particular model. Ford hopes the two features will be offered in most global models by 2019.

Ford is aiming towards the production of completely autonomous driving technology, but the company hasn't stated a projected release date for any fully automated vehicles yet. The best we can see in the near future is an influx of models with more advanced driver assistance systems which allow the car to make automated decisions in specific circumstances.

Source: Reuters