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Ford Readying Fleet of Driverless Cars for One Major U.S. City

Feb 27, 2018  •  Post A Comment

Ford is laying the groundwork for its autonomous vehicle business with an initiative focused on Miami. Recode reports that the company’s three-pronged approach “includes a delivery pilot in partnership with Dominos and Postmates, testing self-driving cars around the city and setting up a fleet-management center.”

“Many other companies in the self-driving space have begun testing both delivery and ride-hail services, but few have established dedicated fleet-management centers that will facilitate the maintenance and operation of these driverless vehicles,” Recode notes. “Determining how best to manage a fleet of driverless vehicles will figure largely in any company’s ability to launch and expand its service.”

The company appears to be positioning to launch both a driverless ride-hailing service and delivery services by 2021. Record quotes Sherif Marakby, Ford’s VP of autonomous vehicles and electrification, saying the initiative is in business in Miami. “We’re not announcing going to our first city,” he said. “We’re announcing that we are in the first city. We have a depot, we’re mapping the city and we’re operating a business.”

Recode adds: “Like most other companies in the self-driving space, Ford will begin testing its self-driving cars on public roads. In Miami, however, the cars — powered by self-driving startup Argo.AI, in which Ford bought a majority stake — are still mostly mapping out the city’s streets for now. The company said they are also operating in a closed loop in autonomous mode.”

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